But the former KAA Gent shot-stopper, a two-time Belgian goalkeeper of the year, started badly in English football and things have only got worse.
Kalinic looked all at sea on his debut, a humiliating 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Swansea City, before going on to concede 12 goals in his eight Championship games.
A 2-0 home loss against local rivals West Brom was the final straw for manager Dean Smith. Kalinic was dropped to the bench a month ago and it is telling that Villa have shone in his absence.
Jed Steer, who was recalled from a loan spell at Charlton in January, is unbeaten in his five games between the sticks and has kept three clean sheets to boot.
Clearly, Kalinic faces a battle winning back Smith’s trust and reports from Portugal might suggest that he is already on borrowed time in the Midlands. Record claims that Villa have identified another goalkeeping target, CD Aves’ French stopper Quentin Beunardeau.
To make matters worse for Kalinic, he was slammed by Croatia fans on Twitter for another error-strewn performance in their 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying defeat against Hungary earlier this month.
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