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Aston Villa target Neil Etheridge is a big John Terry fan, has history with Dean Smith

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith celebrates with assistant manager John Terry (l) following the Sky Bet Championship Play-off Final match between Aston Villa and Derby County at Wembley...

Aston Villa are reportedly attempting to sign Neil Etheridge.

Neil Etheridge of Cardiff City celebrates after teammate Sol Bamba scores their team's second goal during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Brighton & Hove Albion at the...

Cardiff City's Neil Etheridge impressed this past season, and it seems that Aston Villa are keen to hand him an immediate return to the Premier League.

Villa saw Jed Steer impress in the final weeks of the season, but January signing Lovre Kalinic already looks set to move on this summer, even if only on loan.

Villa have been struggling to find a first-choice goalkeeper in recent times, and boss Dean Smith appears to have a signing in mind in Etheridge, having failed with an £8million bid on Monday according to Wales Online.

 

Etheridge, 29, has a history with Smith. The Philippines international signed for Smith at Walsall in 2015, working with the now-Villa boss down in League One.

Smith told BBC Sport that he thought Etheridge was 'strong and steady' when he signed him, and that goes a long way to showing just why Smith wants to sign him again.

Etheridge's links at Villa Park go even further than that. Not only did he also work with goalkeeper coach Neil Cutler at Walsall with Smith, but he was at Chelsea with John Terry too.

Cardiff City's English-born Filipino goalkeeper Neil Etheridge shouts and gestures during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Cardiff City at the...

Etheridge has previously praised Terry; he told the Daily Star in 2015 that Terry helped bring young players closer to the first team setup by paying for their driving licenses and tests, going the extra mile for players, whilst hailing him as a great leader.

Reuniting with Smith, Terry and Cutler will surely be hugely appealing to Etheridge, and it would be little surprise to see Villa return with a new bid for the Cardiff stopper soon.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith celebrates with assistant manager John Terry (l) following the Sky Bet Championship Play-off Final match between Aston Villa and Derby County at Wembley...

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