Aston Villa have appointed Johan Lange as their new Sporting Director, with the club's owners now targeting the top half of the Premier League table.

40-year-old Lange had been the technical director at FC Copenhagen in his homeland of Denmark for the last six years, and in his new role at Villa Park he will report directly to the Aston Villa board.

Jesus Garcia Pitarch left the post on Monday having been appointed in 2018 – the same day that Dean Smith took up his role as head coach.

Last summer, Villa spent more than £120m on players – but Smith’s side only just stayed up, with a final day draw at West Ham securing 17th place.

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