England winger Downing completes Villa move

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The Independent Football

Aston Villa have completed the £12m signing of England midfielder Stewart Downing from Middlesbrough, the clubs announced today.

Downing, who arrived at Villa's training ground on crutches because of a broken foot that will keep him out of action until September, completed a medical and signed a four-year-deal.

Downing said that his desire to play in next year's World Cup was a major factor in his move in the wake of Middlesbrough's relegation from the Premier League last season.

"That's my aim, to get back to full fitness, get back playing and get myself in the England team for the World Cup," Downing told Boro's website (www.mfc.premiumtv.co.uk).

"I have to be with a good Premier League side if I want to do that," added Downing, who turns 25 next week.