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Agbonlahor stirs in vital victory

Aston Villa
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Everton on the rise once again

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Real confirm capture of starlet Varane

Real Madrid have completed their fourth signing of the summer after securing the services of highly-rated Lens defender Raphael Varane on a six-year contract.

• Zidane: Varane can be the next Blanc
• Benzema: Real can topple Barcelona

Varane, 18, emerged as one of the hottest prospects in European football last season, with his assured displays seeing him stand out in a campaign that saw his club relegated from Ligue 1.

And amid reported interest from Manchester United, Real swooped quickly for the centre-back, who joins Hamit Altintop, Nuri Sahin and Jose Maria Callejon as new arrivals at the Bernabeu.

"Real Madrid and Lens have reached an agreement for the transfer of the French player Raphael Varane, who will be tied to the club for the next six seasons," Real announced on their official website.

Varane made 23 appearances for Lens in 2010-11 but could not prevent them from suffering relegation to Ligue 2, however Jose Mourinho was sufficiently impressed to persuade the Real hierarchy to invest in the teenager.

Los Blancos won the Copa del Rey last season in Mourinho's first campaign in charge, while they finished second in the Primera Division and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Real midfielder Hamit Altintop successfully underwent back surgery in Germany on Monday. The Turkey international joined the club on a four-year deal last month from Bayern Munich although his appearances for the German club were limited last season as he struggled for fitness.

A statement on the Madrid website said Altintop will remain in hospital until Saturday morning but there was no mention of how long the 28-year-old might be out of action.

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