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Wednesday, 18 July, 2001, 20:12 GMT 21:12 UK
Mellberg joins Villa
Olof Mellberg
Mellberg shows off his new colours
Aston Villa have completed the signing of Swedish international defender Olof Mellberg from Racing Santander.

According to the club's official website, Mellberg, 23, has signed a five-year contract with Villa.

Villa and Spanish club Racing agreed a fee in the region of 5m before Mellberg arrived at Villa Park to complete his medical and agree personal terms.


We're delighted to secure one of the best young centre-halves in the world
  Doug Ellis, Aston Villa chairman

Mellberg, capped 16 times by his country, was a member of Sweden's Euro 2000 squad and has spent three seasons in Spain since signing from AIK Stockholm in 1998.

Meanwhile, Villa are reportedly swooping for 8m Barcelona striker Dani.

Villa manager John Gregory is said to be confident of landing the 26-year-old by the end of the week.

Gregory described the Dani transfer talk as "pure speculation".

"I just allow people to get on with it, keep my head down and try to produce a striker that I feel will be right for the club," he added.

Villa originally targeted Dani, who would command wages of 25,000 a week, six months ago.


I didn't want to leave Barcelona but it is clear that there is no future here for me
  Dani

However, the Spanish international stayed at the Nou Camp to fight for his place.

Now he has been told that he has no future and he is ready to negotiate with Villa, says The Mirror newpaper.

Former Real Madrid striker Dani fell out of favour last season when Lloren Serra Ferrer became the Barcelona coach.

Dani came to prominence with Barca after heading their scoring charts two seasons ago, when they pipped Madrid for the Spanish title.

But he was criticised heavily after a poor Champions' League campaign last season but now admits that he will have to leave the Catalan capital.

"I didn't want to leave but it is clear that there is no future here for me," said Dani.

Villa have strengthened their squad in recent weeks by signing Moroccans Moustapha Hadji and Hassan Kachloul.

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