Premier League

Usmanov hopes for Rooney deal

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Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:09:00

Aston Villa have completed the signing of 22-year-old left-back Antonio Luna from Sevilla on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

Luna played four times for his parent club before being loaned out to Real Mallorca and he is now excited at the chance to play in the Premier League.

"I've always believed that I could play in the Premier League and to have this opportunity with a club as historic and huge as Aston Villa and with a manager who is building a squad of young players with great prospects is tremendously exciting for me," Luna told the club's official website.

"I really can't wait to get started and to play my first game. I have a great expectation coming here.

"The manager explained to me that it is a young squad but also one with good experience and everyone is hungry, everybody wants to succeed here.

"This is perfect because I am keen to make progress myself and I want to be part of this.

"My background will help me and I will use all this experience to help the team. I know the mentality here and we will all work hard as players, we will all work together to push Aston Villa to the highest level possible.

"Obviously, I have watched Premier League games and I am totally aware of the pace of the game and that the challenge is to constantly be at the maximum and top of your performance.

"There have been many good and great players from Spain who have come here and succeeded and I know I can adapt my game also.

"The quality of football in La Liga is also respected everywhere and this is why I believe I can do well in the Premier League."

Villa manager Paul Lambert has already been busy in the transfer market this summer, with Luna's arrival coming just two days after he had signed Denmark striker Nicklas Helenius from Aalborg.

Another Denmark international centre-back Jores Okore, was added to the ranks last week, along with Holland U21 midfielder Leandro Bacuna, while Bulgaria midfielder Aleksandar Tonev has also been snapped up.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has been promised significant funds to build a squad this summer capable of mounting a sustained title challenge, with Rooney among those linked as potential marquee signings, having handed in a transfer request at Old Trafford at the end of last season.

And Usmanov, who holds a 29.9 per cent share in Arsenal, reckons the unsettled 27-year-old would be a big hit at the Emirates Stadium.

He told American television channel CNBC: "(He is a) great player. If he comes it would be a big success for Arsenal and for Rooney also."

Usmanov also expressed his support for Wenger, who oversaw a strong finish to the 2012/13 campaign as the team finished fourth in the Barclays Premier League to secure a Champions League qualifying play-off place.

"My point of view is that Arsene knows best," the 59-year-old Russian added. "Of course, we as shareholders do point out some drawbacks in managing the club, in steering its way through.

"But I believe he is a great coach and he has already proven that last season."

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