Socceroos goalkeeper Joe Gauci has joined English Premier League club Aston Villa in a deal that will reportedly net Adelaide United almost $2.5m, plus more money from future transfers involving the gloveman.
The Reds on Friday confirmed the departure of 23-year-old Gauci, who has signed a 4½ year contract with Villa.
“The environment (Adelaide) has created has really allowed me to flourish and be my true self, on and off the field, and has allowed me to reach the level that I have,” said Gauci, who is on Asian Cup duty in Qatar, where he is Australia’s deputy keeper behind captain Mat Ryan.
Gauci – who made 76 appearances for the Reds after joining the club in October, 2020 – follows in the footsteps of former Socceroos custodian Mark Bosnich, who spent more than seven years at Villa during the 1990s.
Adelaide goalkeeper coach and ex-Socceroos gloveman Eugene Galekovic praised Gauci for his “positive attitude, work ethic and exceptional talent”.
“We’ve witnessed Joe’s growth and development first-hand during his time with us,” Galekovic said.
“His commitment to improving as a goalkeeper has been evident in every training session and match.
“While we are sad to see him go, we understand that this transfer presents a fantastic opportunity for Joe to further elevate his career, joining one of the world’s truly great competitions.”
Gauci becomes the second Reds keeper to move to an EPL club in a week, with 19-year-old Steven Hall having joined Brighton last Friday.
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