Petrov signs new deal to stay at Villa

Stiliyan Petrov has signed a new four-year contract to stay at Aston Villa and extend his long partnership with manager Martin O'Neill.

The 29-year-old Bulgarian midfielder, who first teamed up with O'Neill when the manager arrived at Celtic nine years ago, had a year left on his Villa contract and ended speculation about his future today by signing a new deal.

"I am delighted. It is only just a year ago that people were concerning themselves about whether Stiliyan had a future here," O'Neill said. "But he has battled back so much so that I'd like him to be around here for the next few years. If every person shows the same determination and willingness and drive that Stiliyan has shown the last year, there will be a future for anyone at the club."

Petrov, who has played 86 times for Bulgaria, followed O'Neill to Villa in August 2006 as the manager's first signing. He was voted player of the year by the Villa fans this season.