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A Villa 15:00 Preston

Petrov leaves Celtic for Villa

By Peter ORourke.   Last Updated: 30/08/06 12:57pm

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Aston Villa have completed the signing of Stilian Petrov from Celtic.

The Bulgarian international has signed a four-year deal at Villa Park and becomes the first signing for Martin O'Neill.

Villa have paid £6.5 million for Petrov which could rise to £8 million.

Petrov has been seeking a move away from Celtic all summer after he handed in a transfer request at the end of last season.

O'Neill was keen to be reunited with the goalscoring midfielder after enjoying five successful years together in Glasgow and he has finally got his man.

"I've known him for quite some time and I think he is athletic, young and can also score some goals for us," O'Neill told Villa's official website.

"I think his best years are ahead of him, at 27 years old. He's the right age but he's also got plenty of experience behind him.

"He's got that winning mentality from his years at Celtic but I think he had that anyway."

Petrov's departure could pave the way for Celtic to bring in Thomas Gravesen with the Dane set to make a decision on his future later on Wednesday.

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