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By ESPN Staff

Petrov signs new four-year deal with Villa

Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has ended speculation about his future by signing a new four-year contract.

The Bulgaria international had only 12 months remaining of his current deal and recently intimated sorting out fellow midfielder Gareth Barry's future would have a big bearing on his own decision.

But the club's player of the year has put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at Villa Park until the end of the 2012-2013 campaign.

Petrov initially struggled to make an impact after becoming manager Martin O'Neill's first major signing in August 2006 in a £6m switch from Celtic.

He was even dropped for a spell last season and admitted he had failed to live up to expectations.

But this season Petrov has been effective in a holding role which has allowed Barry more licence to go forward.

O'Neill is thrilled to have secured the services of Petrov on a long-term basis.

He said: ''I am delighted. It is only just a year ago that people were concerning themselves about whether Stiliyan had a future here.

''But he has battled back so much so that I'd like him to be around here for the next few years.

''If every person shows the same determination and willingness and drive that Stiliyan has shown the last year, there will be a future for anyone at the club.''

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