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Muntari released by AC Milan

AC Milan
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Villa sign Westwood and Bowery

Aston Villa have signed midfielder Ashley Westwood from Crewe and striker Jordan Bowery from Chesterfield.

Westwood, 22, who helped his side win promotion through the League Two play-offs last season, becomes Villa manager Paul Lambert's seventh summer signing and has agreed a four-year contract.

The former Alex skipper said he was looking forward to taking on the challenges of Premier League football, adding: "I see myself as a Michael Carrick-type of player, someone who stays out of the limelight and keeps it simple, retaining the ball and laying it off to team-mates.

"From the conversations I've had with the new manager, I think that will fit in perfectly here.

"He said to me that he's looking for younger lads to work with him, step up and lift this club to the next level, and I'm really looking forward to the challenge.

"This is a fantastic football club - a massive club - and I can't wait to get started, really. It's a bit surreal right now, but I'll get out training with the lads tomorrow morning and take it in my stride."

Westwood, who came through the ranks at Crewe, has impressed Lambert, who said: "Being captain of his football club at 21 years of age - I think that says a big thing about Ashley's quality, the responsibility he has taken on his shoulders and his temperament.

"He's also a terrific prospect for this football club - a real, real talent. He's had a really good grounding at Crewe and he will fit in with what we're looking to do here. He's a good player, and he'll do fine."

Villa had earlier tied up a deal for 21-year-old Bowery for a reported £500,000. Lambert said: "Jordan's a good player. The hunger will be there for him, and he could surprise a few people.

"He's a good lad - he's strong and powerful. He's played over 100 games in the Football League and Cup football, so he's battle-hardened. He's one for the future, but if he steps up to the plate like I think he can then I would have no hesitation in throwing him in."

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