Jota and Gary Gardner seal moves between Birmingham and Aston Villa

Jota will be reunited with former Brentford manager Dean Smith at Aston Villa
Image: Jota will be reunited with former Brentford manager Dean Smith at Aston Villa

Aston Villa have signed Jota from Birmingham for an undisclosed fee, with Gary Gardner sealing a permanent move in the opposite direction.

The 27-year-old winger is Villa's first signing since their promotion to the Premier League, which they secured last month with a play-off final victory over Derby.

Jota played for Villa boss Dean Smith at Brentford before moving to Birmingham in a club-record £6m deal in the summer of 2017, where the Spaniard went on to score eight goals in 75 appearances.

"I worked with Jota at Brentford," Smith said.

Gary Gardner made 40 appearances for Birmingham last season in the Sky Bet Championship
Image: Gary Gardner has sealed a permanent move to Birmingham after spending last season on loan at St Andrew's

"He's a superb, talented player and Birmingham signed him as their record transfer.

"I'm really happy to have him back working with us. He's got great ability, great balance and a great eye for both goals and assists."

Gardner spent last season on loan at St Andrew's, but has now signed a three-year contract with the Sky Bet Championship club.

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The 26-year-old scored two goals in 40 league appearances for Birmingham, as Garry Monk's side secured a 17th-placed finish despite the club incurring a nine-point penalty for financial breaches.

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