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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2005, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Man City complete Vassell signing
Darius Vassell has completed his 2m switch to Manchester City from Aston Villa after passing a medical.

City boss Stuart Pearce moved to sign the 25-year-old England striker with some of the 21m he received from Chelsea for Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Vassell, who had one year left on his Villa contract, scored only three goals in 21 league games last season.

Villa are expected to use the money to make an increased offer for Liverpool's 7m-rated striker Milan Baros.

But Villa boss David O'Leary insisted he was not forced to sell Vassell to raise cash to pursue his transfer targets.

"It's not fair to say I had to sell Darius to bring in money. That would be totally unfair on the club," Villa boss David O'Leary told the club website.

Vassell, who was born in Birmingham, has scored six goals for England in 22 international appearances.

A statement on City's official website read: "He is likely to make his first-team debut in one of the coming weekend's two friendly fixtures, away at either Stoke City or Sheffield Wednesday."

He made his debut for Villa at the start of the 1998/1999 season in the 3-1 win over Middlesbrough.

O'Leary added: "I've got a budget where I have to try and get players in, but that's nothing to do with the Darius deal.

"He had a year left on his contract, we've been offered good money by Manchester City, so it suits everybody all round as it stands."

Vassell is keen to use the move to Eastlands as a catalyst to re-ignite his career.

He said: "I thought the time was right to make a fresh start and this is a dream come true for me.

"I met the manager Stuart Pearce a couple of days ago and I really like the ideas he has for the team.

"When I knew that he was interested in me it was a great confidence booster and I can't wait to be a part of it."


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