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Aston Villa look to Valencia creator Carles Gil for guile and goals

Aston Villa, 11/4 to be relegated with Coral, have captured Spain Under-21 cap and Valencia academy graduate attacking midfielder Carles Gil subject to international clearance, after he passed a medical.

Rated by Los Che in excess of £3m, 22-year-old Gil has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at Villa Park, and completed 90 minutes just once for the Mestalla side under Bats boss Nuno Espirito Santo this term.

It appears an abject 1-0 defeat at fellow strugglers Leicester City has forced Villa boss Paul Lambert into the market, as he seeks a player to link midfield and the frontline, which has look heavily reliant on counter-attacks.

West Midlands outfit Villa have netted just 11 Premier League goals, seven fewer than the second lowest scorers Sunderland. Gil’s guile and creativity, which he displayed during the last two seasons on loan at Elche and helped them gain promotion to La Liga, will hopefully address this.

“Once I knew that this club was interested in me I wanted to join,” Gil told Villa’s official website upon signing. “I am really looking forward to playing here and showing the fans what I can do.

“I can play on either side or in the middle of midfield and I like playing as part of the team, making things happen for my teammates. This is a very historic club in England, a very important club in the Premier League, and I am looking forward to playing for such a great club in a league that is the top league in the world.”

Lambert is likely to face a struggle to keep hold of prize assets Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph in the winter window, with top Premier League clubs reportedly circling both. This will weaken Villa’s spine further, and they have found the net just once in their last six league outings.

In other news, on-loan Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is growing increasingly unlikely to become a permanent player at Villa Park. Tabloid reports claim the ex-England international, who is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of this season, will make a summer switch to Everton instead.

Cleverley, 25, has played under Toffees boss Roberto Martinez before (on loan at Wigan Athletic), and would link up with fellow old Red Devil and midfield cohort Darron Gibson at Goodison Park. This may prove prudent for Everton, who have Europa League rivals Spurs sniffing round Republic of Ireland anchorman James McCarthy.

It seems for Villa fans that the Janaury transfer window may be more about names leaving than coming in, but grabbing Gil could be a continental coup. Lambert’s lads are 12/1 chance to finish in the top half.