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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Aston Villa sign Rudy Gestede from Blackburn Rovers on five-year deal

Rudy Gestede scored 22 goals for Blackburn Rovers last season.

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Rudy Gestede from Blackburn Rovers for an undisclosed fee.

Gestede, 26, signed a five-year deal at Villa Park on Friday, becoming Villa's second signing of the day after the Premier League side brought in France under-21 midfielder Jordan Veretout from Nantes.

Villa boss Tim Sherwood told the club's official website: "I've known about Rudy since he was at Cardiff City and he is a player I've always admired.

"His goal-scoring ratio last season was fantastic and he is someone who certainly knows how to find the back of the net.

"He's a big, physical striker but he can play and I'm pleased to welcome him to the football club."

Gestede's arrival follows the £32.5 million sale of Christian Benteke to Liverpool, who moved to Anfield last week after the Merseyside club activated his buyout clause.

Benin international Gestede scored 22 goals for the Ewood Park club last term, including 20 in the Championship.

The forward came through the ranks at FC Metz before joining Cardiff in 2011, helping the Welsh club to secure promotion to the Premier League.

Gestede then joined Rovers on loan in December 2013 before signing a permanent deal the following summer.

There was further good news for Villa fans as the club announced that defender Nathan Baker had signed a new four-year contract.

The 24-year-old academy product, who has played 87 times for the club since his first-team debut in 2011, said: "I am delighted to sign a new contract here at Villa."

"I am determined to impress the gaffer and get in that side," he added. "The competition is going to be fierce here at centre-half but that's what the gaffer wants. There's a lot of choice for him. But you can't do well as a club without competition for places."

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