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Page last updated at 10:20 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 11:20 UK

Petrov signs new Villa contract

Stiliyan Petrov
Petrov signed for Aston Villa from Celtic for 6.5m in 2006

Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has signed a new four-year deal that is set to keep him at the club until 2013.

The Bulgaria international, 29, had 12 months left on his previous contract and had hinted his future may depend on Gareth Barry staying at Villa Park.

However, he has ended speculation by signing a new deal, having impressed in a holding midfield role this season.

"I am delighted - I'd like him to be around here for the next few years," said manager Martin O'Neill.

Petrov initially struggled to make an impact after becoming O'Neill's first major signing in a £6.5m switch from Celtic in August 2006.

He was even dropped for a spell last season and admitted he had failed to live up to expectations.

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But Petrov has been effective in a holding role this campaign, which has allowed Barry more licence to go forward and paid dividends in Villa's drive for European football next term.

"It is only just a year ago that people were concerning themselves about whether Stiliyan had a future here, but he has battled back," added O'Neill.

"If every person shows the same determination and willingness and drive that Stiliyan has shown the last year, there will be a future for anyone at the club."

Barry, who also has a year left to run on his current contract, has yet to sign a new deal.

The England international was strongly linked with a move to Liverpool last summer, and the Reds - as well as Tottenham - are thought to still be interested in signing the 28-year-old.



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see also
Middlesbrough 1-1 Aston Villa
16 May 09 |  Premier League
Top four is the priority - Petrov
18 Feb 09 |  Aston Villa
The O'Neill effect
24 Oct 06 |  Aston Villa
Villa seal 6.5m deal for Petrov
30 Aug 06 |  Aston Villa


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
SoccerWay.com Bulgarian star Petrov commits to Villa - 20 hrs ago
TheStar.com.my Bulgaria midfielder Petrov signs new deal with Aston Villa - 26 hrs ago
Nigeria Guardian Petrov inks new deal at Villa - 26 hrs ago
ESPNsoccernet Stiliyan Petrov signs new four-year deal with Aston Villa - England - 34 hrs ago
FIFA.com Petrov commits to Villa - 38 hrs ago


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