Stewart Downing joins Aston Villa for £12m

Aston Villa have completed the signing of England winger Stewart Downing from Middlesbrough for fee of £12m. The 24-year-old signed a four-year contract after passing a medical at Villa Park.

Downing became Martin O'Neill's first signing of the season but won't be available for selection until October at the earliest after undergoing surgery to fix a fractured bone in his foot.

The left-winger spoke about his decision to leave Middlesbrough with selection for next year's World Cup in mind: "Leaving Boro feels strange because I have always been at the club," he said. "I supported them when I was young and I will always be a Boro fan."

"But I hope the fans will understand that I'm ambitious and want to win things. This move gives me a chance of that," the winger continued. "Also, I definitely want to play at next year's World Cup, so that's my aim - to get back to full fitness, get back playing and get myself in the England team for the World Cup."

"I don't just want to go there to sit it out this time either. I want to be in the team. I loved the last World Cup, it was brilliant, but I want to play a bigger part this time. I have to be with a good Premier League side if I want to do that."

Downing said that he had no hesitation joining Villa: "When it became apparent that Villa were interested I was very excited," he said. "As soon as I spoke to the manager at the training ground, I wanted to play for Villa and I wanted to play for him. He has great ambition and wants to build a good squad to take the club forward. I want to be part of that."

The Birmingham club will pay Boro £10m straight away with the remaining £2m depending on the number of appearances Downing makes for the club.

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