January 13, 2020 / 8:16 PM / 13 days ago

Villa sign AC Milan goalkeeper Reina on loan until end of season

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan v Lazio - San Siro, Milan, Italy - April 13, 2019 AC Milan's Pepe Reina during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo/File Photo

(Reuters) - Aston Villa have signed goalkeeper Pepe Reina from Italian side AC Milan on loan until the end of the season, the Premier League club announced on Monday.

Reina spent eight seasons with the Liverpool first team between 2005-2013 where he won the Premier League Golden Glove award for most clean sheets in his first three seasons with the club.

The 37-year-old, who also had spells with Bayern Munich and Napoli before moving to Milan in 2018, has been brought in as injury cover by Villa after Tom Heaton was ruled out of the rest of the season with a knee injury.

"We've managed to secure a player in Pepe who has a wealth of Premier League experience," Villa boss Dean Smith said in a statement here "At the start of the summer we were looking for an experienced goalkeeper and brought in Tom Heaton.

“Unfortunately, his injury has ruled him out for the rest of the season but Pepe fits our criteria not just because of his experience but also because of his leadership qualities.”

Reina has also played over 30 times for Spain and he was a member of the squad that won the World Cup in 2010 and the Euros in 2008 and 2012.

Villa are 18th in the standings, one point away from the safety zone, and play Brighton & Hove Albion away on Saturday.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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