Ireland international signs with Newcastle

Newcastle have signed Republic of Ireland international Ciaran Clark from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee.

The versatile 26-year-old, who can play at centre-back, left-back or in a holding midfield role, has put pen to paper on a five-year contract at St James' Park.

Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo will be disappointed to lose Clark to another club who were also relegated from the Premier League last season, having recently expressed his desire to keep him at the club, but Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez was happy to strengthen his squad with an eighth summer signing.

"Ciaran is a very versatile player, as a left-footed centre-back he can also play left-back and also as a defensive midfielder," the Spaniard told his club's official website,

"He has a lot of experience of English football and will add good balance and competition to our squad.

"I am sure he will progress with us here at Newcastle, we are very happy for him to join us."

Clark came through the ranks at Villa before making his debut for the club in August 2009, while still a teenager.

Ireland international signs with Newcastle

He soon became a regular in the side and over the following six seasons went on to make more than 150 appearances, scoring 10 goals.

Clark has won 19 caps for the Republic of Ireland and represented his country at this summer's European Championship in France, scoring an unfortunate own goal in their 1-1 draw with Sweden.

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