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Report: Di Matteo set to make £2m swoop for Premier League winner, green light given

By Amir Mir

Aston Villa are set to seal a £2million deal for Watford goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, according to a report.

The Mirror are reporting that manager Roberto Di Matteo has freed up space to sign the ex-Manchester City keeper by selling the much-criticised Brad Guzan to Premier League outfit Middlesbrough.

It is said Di Matteo was trying to convince Pantilimon that regular football in the Championship is far better than a spot on the bench for Watford.

The 6ft 8in keeper joined the Vicarage Road club in January from Sunderland, but has subsequently struggled for game time at the club as the Romanian has struggled to dethrone first choice keeper Heurelho Gomes.

Pantilimon, who received a Premier League winners medal with Manchester City in 2013-14, is now set to join Di Matteo’s side and battle new signing Pierluigi Gollini for the number one spot.

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Villa conceded 76 goals last term as the Midlands side were relegated into the second-tier of English football.

If a deal does go through for the 29-year-old, he will become the club’s fourth signing of the summer after fellow goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, defender Tommy Elphick and midfielder Aaron Tshibola.

Di Matteo must now prepare for the forthcoming Championship campaign, as the Italian begins with a tough away fixture against Sheffield Wednesday on 7 August.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, this top-tier manager confirms interest in Villa winger.