The club are reportedly closing in on a £4.9 million deal for the 25-year-old Croatia international.
Speaking to BBC WM Sport following Tuesday night’s 2-0 FA Cup third round replay win over Wycombe Wanderers, Aston Villa manager Remi Garde appeared to drop a big hint that the club are closing in on a deal for rumoured goalkeeping target Lovre Kalinic.
The likes of the Daily Mail reported earlier in the day that Villa have opened talks with Hajduk Split over a potential £4.9 million move for the two-time capped Croatia international and hope to have a deal wrapped up at some stage this week.
Brad Guzan’s shaky display against Wycombe at Villa Park only reinforced the need for a new shot-stopper to push him and Mark Bunn for the No. 1 job, and Garde seemed to suggest at the final whistle that he has found his man.
Asked about his reported pursuit of Kalinic, the Frenchman said: “I’m looking after a goalkeeper – and it might be this one.”
Kalinic, whose Hajduk contract expires in 2017, has kept an impressive 14 clean sheets in 28 total appearances for the Croatian side this season and set a new club record back in October of going eight league games without conceding.
The 25-year-old, who stands at an imposing 6ft 7in, has recently been linked with the likes of Leicester City and Sunderland thanks to his impressive performances, while Turkish giants Besiktas were also reported to have had a bid for his signature turned down earlier this week [h/t Daily Mail].
Serie A sides Inter Milan and Lazio were also named as potential suitors earlier this month, but the towering custodian is said to prefer a move which would offer him a better chance of first-team football [h/t lalaziosiamonoi.it].