June 5, 2019 / 5:07 PM / 22 days ago

Villa sign Spanish winger Jota from rivals Birmingham

(Reuters) - Aston Villa have signed Spanish winger Jota from fierce local rivals Birmingham City on a two-year contract, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

Jota, 27, is Villa’s first signing since they won promotion to the Premier League, which they sealed with a playoff final win over Derby County last month.

"Becoming a Premier League player was important for me and something I've been looking for. This is one of the biggest clubs in England," Jota, who joined for an undisclosed fee, told the club's website here

“You can feel it every time you play them. I felt it from the other side of the city in those big derby games.

“There was a great atmosphere at Villa Park every time and I’m proud to be part of this club now.”

Jota played under Villa boss Dean Smith at Brentford before moving to Birmingham in 2017 for a club record fee of 6 million pounds.

“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,” Smith said.

Villa midfielder Gary Gardner has gone in the opposite direction, joining Championship side Birmingham on a three-year deal here

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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