Ex-Spain international Juanfran joins Aston Villa as a scout

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez (L) of Real Madrid controls the ball behind Juanfran of Levante during the La Liga match between Levante UD and Real Madrid at Ciutat de Valencia on October...

Juanfran has told Spanish media that Villa's sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch had hired him.

09 Paco Alcacer of Valencia CF (L) and 12 Juan Francisco Garcia, Juanfran of Levante UD (C) with falleras mayores of valencia during la liga match between Levante UD and Valencia CF at...

Retired Spain international Juanfran has told Spanish newspaper Marca that he has joined Aston Villa as a scout, after being approached by sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch.

Garcia, 42, retired in 2016 after six years with Spanish side Levante - where he started his years as a professional footballer. He also played for Valencia, Besiktas, Ajax, Celta Vigo, AEK Athens and Zaragoza.

Now, he has done the necessary badges required to become a scout and Villa have seemingly hired the 11-time Spain international - who shares the same name as current Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran.

 

Juanfran described it as a "dream come true" and a "privilege" to work for a club like the Championship side, stating that every team in England recognises Villa as a big club.

"It is a privilege and a privilege to work for a club like Aston Villa," Juanfran said. "Every team identifies Villa as a big club from England and it's a dream come true.

"We [Pitarch] got in touch and I was seduced. It is a great challenge and responsibility, I am very grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to work with them. It means that he supports my professional and personal career because we have known each other for many years, and I am very grateful."

Dean Smith head coach of Aston Villa poses for a picture with Christian Purslow CEO of Aston Villa and Jesus Garcia Pitarch Director of Football for Aston Villa  during a press conference...

It is unclear how long Juanfran will be working with Villa, and whether the move is a permanent one. But ahead of the January transfer window, his knowledge of Spain could come in handy.

Villa are expected to be on the lookout for a new goalkeeper as the performances of Orjan Nyland continue to leave question marks, while cover at centre-back is a necessity. Perhaps, another central midfielder could be needed, too.

Valencia CF General Manager Jesus Garcia Pitarch attends the presentation of a new Valencia CF player, Denis Cheryshev at Paterna Training Centre on February 2, 2016 in Valencia, Spain.

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