Aston Villa are reportedly set to end a 36-year wait for a direct transfer between themselves and bitter rivals Birmingham City for winger Jota.
Dean Smith will be planning for life in the Premier League in the coming weeks and months after his side defeated Derby County in the Championship playoff final on Monday.
Reinforcements will be needed to ensure that they remain in the top flight, especially with key loanees set to return to their parent clubs while several veterans are set to see their contracts expire.
In turn, Villa are expected to be busy in the transfer market this summer, but the Birmingham Mail claim that they are ready to complete a shock raid on Birmingham for Jota.
It’s added by The Sun that should a deal go through for the 27-year-old, it would be the first direct permanent transfer deal struck between the two rivals in the last 36 years.
Smith is fully aware of what the Spaniard can offer having worked with him at Brentford before he moved on to Blues where he bagged eight goals and 11 assists in 75 appearances.
Time will tell whether or not it’s a sensible addition to the squad to add quality and depth, but ultimately given Smith and the recruitment team have done so well since January to get themselves back in the Premier League, their judgement will likely be backed by the Villa faithful.
Nevertheless, it’s a significant deal given the history between the two clubs, and with Albert Adomah set to leave on a free this summer too, Villa have to add quality in the final third with Jota now seemingly set for a reunion with Smith.