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Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Saturday, 15 January 2011

Aston Villa complete deal for Lyon's Jean Makoun

Jean Makoun
Makoun was Houllier's top transfer target

Aston Villa have completed the £6m signing of Lyon's Cameroon international midfielder Jean Makoun.

The 27-year-old passed a medical on Friday and has agreed a three-and-half-year contract.

He told the club website: "I am proud to have joined a great club. Villa have been after me for quite a while so I'm delighted it's finally happened."

Makoun is expected to be available to play at the end of January when Villa have secured a work permit.

"I can't wait to get started," Makoun added.

"I've left a very good club in Lyon but I am very excited by this new challenge. Villa really want to do well and achieve something so I am really excited to be joining."

Im a Wally

"Makoun could be a good asset because he is experienced," said Villa manager Gerard Houllier.

"He has played in the Champions League with Lille and Lyon. He is exactly what we need."

Houllier, who allowed Steve Sidwell to join Fulham earlier in the transfer window, was keen to strengthen his squad in a bid to lead Villa away from the Premier League relegation zone.

The Villans are currently 18th in the table, although only three points separate the bottom seven teams.

Meanwhile, Chris Herd has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract with Villa.

The 21-year-old, who made his Premier League debut against Manchester United earlier this season and can play in central midfield or at full-back, is the latest graduate of Villa's academy to commit his immediate future to the club.

Herd scored a hat-trick from full-back for Villa's reserves in a 10-1 drubbing of Arsenal last Monday.

He said: "When I got offered the contract, it wasn't a difficult decision to make at all.

"A few of the other boys have done really well and have all signed contracts so it is nice to follow in their footsteps."

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see also
Villa reject Lewis offer claims
13 Jan 11 |  Peterborough
Blackpool reject three Adam bids
22 Jan 11 |  Blackpool
Villa keen to sign Bridge on loan
07 Jan 11 |  Aston Villa
Lyon's Makoun seeks January exit
10 Nov 10 |  African

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