Ashley Young leaves Aston Villa to join Manchester Utd

Posted on by SoccerPunter

England international Ashley Young said the chance to play for Manchester United was an opportunity he couldn’t afford to miss after signing a five-year contract with the English Premier League champions.

Young’s former club, Aston Villa, confirmed the move after the winger, capped 15 times by his country, underwent a medical on Wednesday and the transfer, reportedly worth in the region of 16-20 million pounds ($25-32 million), was completed on Thursday.

Last season United won a record 19th English title and Young told MUTV, the club’s in-house television station: “The opportunity to come and play for one of the biggest clubs in the world is one I couldn’t turn down.

“It’s a chance to hopefully become part of the history by helping to win the 20th title.

“It’s a prospect I always looked at from being a child – to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“I’ve got that opportunity now so I’ve just got to take it with two hands.”

Young, 25, joined Villa from Watford in January 2007 and went on to make 190 appearances in all competitions for the Birmingham club, scoring 38 goals.

“Ashley has made a terrific contribution for Villa over the past four-and-a-half seasons and everyone at the club wishes him the best for the future,” recently-appointed Villa manager Alex McLeish said.

“He has become an important player in the England team during that time and I’m sure he will be looking forward to the challenge,” McLeish also told Villa’s official website.

He became the second pre-season signing at Old Trafford after Sir Alex Ferguson brought England Under-21 international defender Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers for 16.5 million pounds.

United and England central defender Rio Ferdinand welcomed Young’s arrival by writing on Twitter: “Another top, hungry and young player joins the ranks.”

Ferguson faces a rebuilding programme following the retirements of full-back Gary Neville, midfielder Paul Scholes and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

But the arrival of two of English football’s best-regarded talents in Jones and Young, both coveted by arch-rivals Liverpool, suggests Ferguson is, as he has done several times since joining United in 1986, forging a new-look squad.

Young had previously told Villa officials he did not plan to sign an extension to his contract, due to expire next year, and that left the Midlands club with little option but to sell one of their star players or risk losing him for nothing under the Bosman ruling.

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