Lovre Kalinic joined Aston Villa for around £6m earlier in January, having been of interest to the club for quite some time.
Losing their goalkeeper midway through the season presented a problem for Gent, especially with Kalinic being so highly rated at the club. It was also an unexpected exit, with it being thought the Croatian would stay at least until the end of the current season.
That all changed when Aston Villa revived their interest in the 28 year old and presented a bid which was good enough for Gent to wobble, especially when combined with the wishes of the player.
Speaking to De Standaard, the club’s chairman Ivan De Witte explained: “I spoke with Lovre for a long time at the beginning of the season. The agreement was that he would stay the whole season, unless there was something special in the winter market. I assumed that he would not leave, but there is suddenly a very attractive offer for him.”
Kalinic had also become tired with the Belgian league, finding it hard to motivate himself for some games and clearly already thinking about his next destination.
De Witte added: “An example came last season already: after the cup match in Kortrijk he admitted that he had not played a good match. He confessed that it was difficult for him to motivate himself for such matches.”
Aston Villa shouldn’t have any worry about Kalinic being able to get himself up for matches in the Championship. He’d been keen on the move for a while and can now take the next step in his career.