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Last Updated: Monday, 12 July, 2004, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Cole joins Villa on loan
Carlton Cole
Aston Villa have completed the signing of highly-rated Chelsea striker Carlton Cole in a season-long loan deal.

The 20-year-old, who helped Charlton finish seventh in the Premiership in a loan spell last season, starts training with his Villa team-mates on Monday.

"Cole is widely regarded as one of the brightest young prospects in the country," Villa chief executive Bruce Langham told the club's website.

"We have been negotiating with Chelsea for a number of weeks."

Cole was taken on as a Chelsea trainee three years ago and hinted he wanted to return to Stamford Bridge and fight for his place.

Charlton boss Alan Curbishley was keen to keep him at The Valley for the next campaign and it was understood the England Under-21 international would stay as part of Scott Parker's transfer to Chelsea.

But Aston Villa swooped to make Cole their second summer signing following the arrival of defender Martin Laursen.

"It's fair to say there was a lot of interest in Cole," added Langham.

"But David O'Leary identified Carlton as one of his summer targets at the end of last season."

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes Cole has a part to play in the future at Stamford Bridge.

"I think it is good for him. I have worked with him for a week and was impressed," said Mourinho.

"I have no doubt that one day he will be a Chelsea player."

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