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Berson seals Villa switch

Published: Saturday 7 August 2004, 0.42CET
News round-up: Aston Villa FC have signed midfield player Mathieu Berson from FC Nantes Atlantique.

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Published: Saturday 7 August 2004, 0.42CET

Berson seals Villa switch

News round-up: Aston Villa FC have signed midfield player Mathieu Berson from FC Nantes Atlantique.
Aston Villa FC have completed the €2.9m capture of midfield player Mathieu Berson from FC Nantes Atlantique. Villa have secured the 24-year-old's services on a four-year deal. The former French Under-21 international becomes manager David O'Leary's second signing from Ligue 1 following the arrival on loan of RC Strasbourg's Václav Drobný.

Also in England, Senegalese international midfield player Aliou Cissé has moved to Portsmouth FC from Birmingham City FC in a €450,000 transfer. The 28-year-old had been expected to join Crystal Palace FC on loan but a late intervention from the south-coast club changed his mind. Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie said:" Aliou is a tenacious ball-winning player. He will greatly add to our midfield."

Striker Cristiano Lucarelli has joined ASC Livorno on a permanent basis after spending last season on loan with the Serie A newcomers. The 28-year-old scored 29 goals for his hometown club during their promotion campaign. He moves for an undisclosed fee from Torino Calcio and has agreed a five-year contract.

Albanian midfield player Ervin Skela has switched to Bundesliga new boys DSC Arminia Bielefeld on a one-year deal. The 27-year-old had failed to agree a new contract with relegated Eintracht Frankfurt and arrives on a free transfer. Arminia coach Uwe Rapolder said: "Ervin can control a game from the centre of the park and set up goals and score them."

Meanwhile, 1. FC Kaiserslautern forward Ioannis Amanatidis will be sidelined for at least two months after breaking his leg in training with Greece's Olympic team. The 22-year-old sustained the injury on Monday but his club only learnt the extent of the injury on Thursday. Amanatidis will not require surgery. FCK coach Kurt Jara said: "It is a huge blow for us."

Welsh international goalkeeper Darren Ward has joined English Premiership newcomers Norwich City FC on a two-year contract with the option of a third term. The 30-year-old arrives from Nottingham Forest FC for an undisclosed fee. Ward is expected to be the third-choice keeper behind Robert Green and Paul Gallagher.

Finally, striker Bryan Prunty has signed for newly promoted Scottish Premier League side Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC. The 21-year-old former Celtic FC player has agreed a two-year deal after discovering he would not be part of manager Jimmy Calderwood's plans at Aberdeen FC this season.

Last updated: 06/08/04 20.27CET

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