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Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Saturday, 26 July 2008 16:44 UK

Friedel completes move to Villa

Brad Friedel
Friedel joined Blackburn in November 2000 on a free transfer

Aston Villa have signed American keeper Brad Friedel from Blackburn for an undisclosed fee - thought to be 2m.

The 37-year-old, also linked with Manchester City, has signed a three-year deal following talks with Villa manager Martin O'Neill.

"I've really got the feeling this club is going places and that's the main reason why I'm here," said Friedel.

"I know there was a lot going on in the press about Manchester City but from day one it was always Aston Villa."

Friedel made 287 appearances for Blackburn and was one of their outstanding performers last season.

But he was given permission to move to Villa Park after Rovers signed Paul Robinson from Tottenham as a replacement.

Martin was the main factor in my moving to Villa

Brad Friedel

"I'd been at Blackburn eight years and this was going to be my ninth season," said Friedel.

"The fans and everyone at the club have been terrific with me.

"In saying that I'm really excited to be here at Aston Villa. Being able to work with these players, with Martin O'Neill and with Mr (Randy) Lerner (club owner) is exciting for me."

Friedel added: "Martin was the main factor in my moving to Villa. I know a lot has been said about my Cleveland connection and my United States connection with Mr Lerner. I have spoken to him and he's a fantastic guy.

"But it was all down to Martin and the ambition of the club, also Martin's relationship with his chairman, the tremendous players here and the other players they want to bring in to make the squad bigger, stronger and better.

"Aston Villa were ever so professional in the manner that they dealt with everything and I couldn't be happier. I'm very pleased to be here.


"Hopefully things will go well for us this season. No one player ever makes a team but I'll just come in here and try to do the best I can.

"Hopefully we can improve on last year. Sixth was good but if we can move into fifth or fourth that would be fantastic."

Scott Carson kept goal for Villa last season but O'Neill decided against signing the England keeper on a permanent basis from Liverpool and the 22-year-old has since moved to West Brom.

Friedel joined Blackburn from Liverpool in 2000 and although the club were reluctant to let him leave, they gave way to his request in recognition of his long service.

The move did not go through in time for the keeper to make his debut in Saturday's Intertoto Cup tie against Odense.

see also
Bouma hit by serious ankle injury
26 Jul 08 |  Aston Villa
Villa-bound Guzan granted permit
12 Jul 08 |  Aston Villa
Keeper Robinson joins Blackburn
25 Jul 08 |  Blackburn
West Brom snap up keeper Carson
18 Jul 08 |  West Brom
Carson encourages Barry to move
25 Jul 08 |  Aston Villa

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