Aston Villa F.C. have completed the capture of left-back Aly Cissokho from La Liga side Valencia for an undisclosed fee.
Cissokho, who spent last season on loan at Liverpool, has penned a four-year deal at Villa Park, joining fellow newcomers Joe Cole, Kieran Richardson and Philippe Senderos in Birmingham.
The former Olympique Lyonnais defender, 26, tallied one assist in 15 English Premier League appearances for the Reds last term but the Merseysiders ultimately decided not to sign the player to a permanent deal.
The arrival of Cissokho gives Villa a viable option at left-back following the departure of Ryan Bertrand, who has joined Southampton on loan from Chelsea for the upcoming season.
“Destiny has made it so that Villa Park was where I played my first game and now, one year later, I am wearing the shirt,” Cissokho told AVTV.
“I remember everything about the game, because it was my first here in England. The pitch, the stadium, the fans, everything was incredible.
“After I finished my loan with Liverpool, I was keen to come back to play football in England. I knew that Aston Villa were interested and I was very excited to come here.
“The squad we have here is very good, we have some very talented players.
“It is very exciting to meet the squad and start training with them. My mentality is always to give my best for my team mates and the fans.”
Jeremain Lens wants to leave Dynamo Kyiv
Dynamo Kyiv forward Jeremain Lens has talked up a move away from the Ukrainian capital amid ongoing political unrest in the country.
The Holland international, 26, joined Dynamo from Dutch Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven last summer and helped the club win the Ukrainian Cup last term.
Lens was a member of Louis van Gaal’s 23-man World Cup squad this summer, making four appearances — including a start against Chile — for the Oranje.
Lens said: “Of course I have been following the news about the situation in Ukraine closely, I read everything from Dutch media and also watch a lot from Ukrainian TV.
“For the first time I had something to fear about flying.
“I have already stated several times I am interested in a new challenge at a good club.
“But it’s unfair to Dynamo Kiev to repeat that all the time. I am here now and signed here at Kiev with full understanding. If I stay here, than I will do my job and give everything I have.
“I have understand from my agent that a couple of clubs contacted Kiev about my availability. Apparently it is not that easy to work out a deal.
“I have told my agent I only want to hear something when there is a serious proposal.”
Lens, who bagged five goals in 28 league appearances for Dynamo last season, has been linked with the likes of Everton, Newcastle United, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur.