Begovic new keeper at Milan as Reina joins Villa on loan - GulfToday

Begovic new keeper at Milan as Reina joins Villa on loan

Asmir-Begovic

Asmir Begovic has just returned to the Premier League after spending the first half of the season on a temporary deal in Azerbaijan with FK Qarabag.

AC Milan have signed Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to replace Spaniard Pepe Reina who completed a six-month loan deal to Premier League club Aston Villa on Monday.

The 32-year-old Bosnian international has just returned to the Premier League after spending the first half of the season on a temporary deal in Azerbaijan with FK Qarabag.

Begovic, who won the Premier League title with Chelsea in 2016-2017 despite playing just two league games, has agreed a six-month contract until June 30, AC Milan said in a statement.

“Begovic will join his new teammates tomorrow (Tuesday),” the Italian outfit added.

Former Liverpool and Napoli goalkeeper Reina, whose contract with Milan runs until 2021, only played once for the club this season.

Villa boss Dean Smith moved for Reina after the struggling Premier League club’s first-choice keeper Tom Heaton was ruled out for the rest of the campaign.

Heaton suffered a knee injury against Burnley on New Year’s Day and Jed Steer, who featured during Villa’s promotion from the Championship last season, is also out through injury.

“We’ve managed to secure a player in Pepe who has a wealth of Premier League experience,” Smith told Villa’s website.

“At the start of the summer we were looking for an experienced goalkeeper and brought in Tom Heaton.

“Unfortunately, his injury has ruled him out for the rest of the season but Pepe fits our criteria not just because of his experience but also because of his leadership qualities.”

Reina, who has been capped 36 times by Spain, made 394 appearances for Liverpool between 2005 and 2013 before moving to Bayern Munich after a loan spell with Italian club Napoli.

The 37-year-old could make his Villa debut in Saturday’s trip to Brighton.

Begovic meanwhile could play in Wednesday’s Italian Cup match against SPAL with first-choice keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma suffering from a muscle problem.

He has played 62 times for Bosnia and has captained his country on five occasions.

The club announced earlier on Monday that Denmark captain Simon Kjaer had agreed a six-month loan from Spanish club Sevilla with an option to buy.

The 30-year centre back had been on loan at Serie A club Atalanta since last September but had played just six times for the Bergamo side.

He also previously played for Italian clubs Palermo and Roma.

Kjaer has skippered Denmark since 2016, scoring three goals in 95 appearances.

Milan are tenth in the Serie A table 23 points behind leaders Juventus, and ten points adrift of the Champions League places.

Agence France-Presse