Rivals Aston Villa and Birmingham Swap Players
It's not too often that Aston Villa and Birmingham do business, but they have done recently with two separate deals that sends a player in both directions. Jota has moved from Birmingham to Aston Villa, while Gary Gardner has moved in the opposite direction to join Birmingham.
Jota is the first signing that Villa have made since moving up into the Premier League, and he joins the club for an undisclosed fee. He has previously worked with Villa boss Dean Smith at Brentford, and it was there where he left to move to Birmingham, signing for The Blues for a record transfer fee of £7 million. He gives Villa another option in attack, which they are going to need moving forward to help them score in the top flight.
Gary Gardner goes in the opposite direction, after spending the season on loan at Birmingham from Villa. He is a player that Birmingham already know thanks to that loan and with Aston Villa going up to the Premier League and likely to spend good money, there won't be room for Gardner to get back into their squad. This gives him the chance to play regular football, even though it is in the second tier.
Villa are preparing for their first season back up in the Premier League, so expect a few more faces to come into the team. They are priced up at 2/1 to be relegated back down to the Championship at the first time of asking, while those who think they will do well can back them at 9/2 to finish in the top half back up in the top flight.