Newcastle United have confirmed the signing of Ciaran Clark from Aston Villa, for an undisclosed fee. The Daily Mail reports the fee to be £5m, the reported value of the release clause his Villa Park contract.
A versatile defender, the 26 year-old has signed a five-year contract with the Magpies and is the first of two captures Rafa Benitez expects to make in the next twenty-four hours. A deal to bring Mohamed Diame from Hull City to Tyneside is believed to be in the final stages and a formal announcement could be made tomorrow.
His departure from Villa came as a surprise, having spurned the opportunity to join West Bromwich Albion last week. Roberto Di Matteo had been pleased with his captain’s decision to stay.
His disappointment at this move underlines the importance of the deal; it weakens Villa as much as it strengthens us.
With Grant Hanley, Jamaal Lascelles and Chancel Mbemba, Clark makes for a strong quartet at this level. The competition for places ensures that players form shouldn’t drop.
Clark gave the obligatory platitudes:
“Newcastle is a massive club so I’m really happy to be here.
“Importantly, it is a club that is moving in the right direction and pushing for the right things, so I’m really excited to now be a part of that.
As with all news signings, best of luck with your career here and we’ll raise a glass to future successes. The proof of the pudding will come on the pitch.