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Last Updated: Friday, 21 May, 2004, 21:23 GMT 22:23 UK
Villa seal Laursen deal
Martin Laursen
Laursen is a regular for Denmark
Aston Villa have completed the signing of AC Milan's Danish centre-back Martin Laursen for 3m.

Laursen, who will be in Denmark's squad at Euro 2004, has agreed a four-year deal and passed a medical.

The 26-year-old defender had been out of favour at the San Siro since Milan signed Alessandro Nesta two years ago.

Laursen, capped 33 times, said: "I had other possibilities, but I chose Aston Villa because I think it's the right club for me."

He told Aston Villa's website: "It was very important to me to resolve my future quickly. I want to play the European Championship with a clear head.

"This the moment in my career where I had to find the right club, and after six years in Italy I feel ready for the Premiership."

Villa boss David O'Leary wants to strengthen his squad this summer after narrowly missing out on a Uefa Cup spot this term.

Laursen will become his first capture ahead of the new campaign and his fourth since joining the club - following Danish compatriot Thomas Sorensen, Gavin McCann and Nolberto Solano.

O'Leary has also released veterans Dion Dublin and Ronny Johnsen this summer.

Laursen began his career with Silkeborg before moving to Italy with Verona, Parma and then Milan.

He made 25 appearances this season for Milan - 12 as a substitute.

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