United seal Young swoop

Image: Young: England winger has signed a five-year deal with Manchester United

Manchester United have completed the signing of England winger Ashley Young from Aston Villa on a five-year contract.

England winger leaves Villa and signs five-year deal

Manchester United have completed the signing of England winger Ashley Young from Aston Villa on a five-year contract. Young's move to Old Trafford, for a reported £16million fee, had been widely anticipated for some time after he announced that he was keen to play at the very highest level. The 25-year-old, who had also been targeted by Liverpool, underwent a medical with the Premier League champions on Wednesday and has now put pen to paper. A statement on the club's official website read: "Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Aston Villa for the transfer of Ashley Young. "The player passed a medical in Manchester this week and has agreed a five-year contract." He becomes Sir Alex Ferguson's second signing of the summer after the capture of England Under 21 international Phil Jones from Blackburn for £16.5million.

New challenge

Villa signed Young from Watford in January 2007 in a deal eventually worth £10million and he went on to score 38 goals in 190 appearances. However, he made it clear to Villa he would not be signing an extension to his contract, which was due to expire next summer, and the club had little alternative but to sell one of their prize assets. "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," new 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 this new challenge." New team-mate Rio Ferdinand was quick to hail his international colleague's move to Old Trafford. Ferdinand wrote on Twitter: "Welcoming Ashley Young to Manchester United. Another top, hungry and young player joins the ranks."

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