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Westwood pens new five-year deal at Aston Villa

Westwood has signed a new five-year deal. Credit: PA

Ashley Westwood has penned a new five-year contract at Aston Villa, the Barclays Premier League club have announced.

The 25-year-old midfielder moved to Villa Park from Crewe in 2012 and has gone on to establish himself in the first-team picture.

And having played all of Saturday's opening day win at Bournemouth, Westwood has now committed himself to Villa for the foreseeable future. "I am extremely pleased to sign a new contract and commit my future to Aston Villa," he told the club's official website.

"I was made to feel very welcome from the moment I first walked through the door and I'm very happy at the club.

"I believe I'm now entering what I hope will be the peak years of my career and I look forward to spending them here."

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Aston Villa set to sign Barcelona winger

Traore is set to join Aston Villa. Credit: PA

Aston Villa are closing in on Barcelona's Adama Traore, Press Association Sport understands.

The winger is not yet at the Barclays Premier League club to put the finishing touches to the deal but could be a Villa player by the time they face Manchester United on Friday.

Stoke were also interested in the 19-year-old but Villa are now understood to be in pole position.

Traore has been a long-term target of boss Tim Sherwood, who refused to discuss any deal last week.

He said: "He's a good player, but at the moment he's a Barcelona's player."

Traore, a Spain Under-19 international, has risen through the ranks at the Nou Camp and would offer Sherwood further attacking options.

He would become his 10th signing of the summer should the deal go through as Sherwood continues a summer revamp in the wake of the exits of Christian Benteke, Fabian Delph and Ron Vlaar.

The boss had suggested he would target English players after raiding France for Jordan Veretout, Jordan Amavi and Jordan Ayew but instead Spaniard Traore is close to joining.

England winger Aaron Lennon is also a potential signing for Villa with the winger on the fringes at Tottenham.

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Aston Villa boss hits back at Liverpool striker

Tim Sherwood is having none of it. Credit: PA

Tim Sherwood has dismissed Christian Benteke's veiled dig at his role in the striker's revival at Aston Villa.

The striker questioned the amount of praise Sherwood received for his part in Benteke's form at the end of last season before he left for Liverpool.

I took no credit, people gave me it, I didn't ask for it.

I would try anything to make him stay but I don't remember ever saying you shouldn't go and play for Liverpool. I wouldn't be that disrespectful to another football club.

I would certainly have given him the reasons why I think he should stay at Aston Villa. I said that last season. To score at the ratio he was scoring last season wouldn't be the end of the world for him.

It is up to Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers to decide how they want to play Christian Benteke. He is no interest to me now. I am looking at what we have here.

– Tim Sherwood

Liverpool striker Benteke has showdown with Sherwood

Benteke hits back at former manager Sherwood. Credit: PA

Liverpool striker Christian Benteke has rejected former boss Tim Sherwood's claim that he can only score goals if he plays for a team that gets crosses into the box.

Sherwood did his best to keep Benteke at Villa after Liverpool made their interest known and the manager even said, "there's no point going to a club where they don't cross the ball".

Benteke said those comments led to a showdown with the 46-year-old Sherwood.

"I don't believe that and I told him -- I spoke with him and I explained to him the situation," the 24-year-old Benteke was quoted as saying by the British media.

"I said football has changed and football now is modern and I can adapt.

"It is not just about crossing, I can score normal goals, too. I told him I am not afraid about it."

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