Football

Petrov looking forward to Dunne arrival

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Skipper Stiliyan Petrov believes Aston Villa will be signing "a true leader" when they formally complete the signing of Manchester City skipper Richard Dunne on a four-year contract in a £6million deal.

The Premier League asked for more time to ratify the deal despite Villa starting to submit the relevant documents before 4pm on Tuesday - an hour before the transfer window formally closed and the Football Association are satisfied with the paperwork presented by Villa but they formally need the approval of the Premier League before they can announce Dunne's capture.

"The deal for Dunne will be great news for Villa. Richard is an international player, he's been in the Premier League for so many years and is one of the game's big players," Petrov said. "It will be a big signing for Villa. It gives us a strong defender at the back and he is a true leader."

Villa have already signed West Ham defender James Collins for around £5 million.

Dunne's days at Eastlands appeared to be numbered after the signing of Kolo Toure from Arsenal and then Joleon Lescott from Everton.

But his arrival - along with Collins - at Villa Park will provide Martin O'Neill with the kind of experienced centre-back he has been looking for since the retirement of Martin Laursen at the end of last season with a knee injury.

O'Neill also allowed Zat Knight to move to Bolton and started the current campaign with only two experienced centre-backs in Curtis Davies and Carlos Cuellar.

The need for new blood became even more pressing after Davies started to suffer more regular recurrences of his long-standing shoulder problem.

Collins said: "It's been a mad 24 hours since coming up here but I'm delighted to have it all sorted. I came on Monday and met the manager and had a look around. It's a fantastic setting. I just can't wait to get cracking now.

"Aston Villa is a massive club so, after coming here looking around the place and I'm friendly with a few of the boys as well, it didn't take a lot of persuading on my part."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Manchester City
Bolton Wanderers
Stiliyan Petrov
Zat Knight
Premier League
Carlos Cuellar
Kolo Toure
Joleon Lescott
Curtis Davies
Everton
Richard Dunne
James Collins
Aston Villa

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