Aston Villa agree deal for US keeper Guzan

July 12, 2008

Aston Villa are hoping to finally secure the services of United States goalkeeper Brad Guzan after agreeing a fee with Chivas USA.

Villa manager Martin O'Neill agreed a fee in the region of £2million for Guzan during the January transfer window but the deal was scuppered after he failed to obtain a work permit.

Now Villa have again reached agreement with the Major League Soccer (MLS) club for Guzan who played against England as a second-half substitute at Wembley in May.

And Guzan's increased number of international appearances - he has been involved in five of the last eight internationals - means Villa are more hopeful of gaining Home Office approval.

In addition to his appearance against England, he has started against Sweden and Barbados and came off the bench against Switzerland, South Africa and Spain in internationals since October 2007.

A Villa spokesman said: 'Aston Villa can confirm that a fee has been agreed this morning for Brad Guzan and he will become a Villa player subject to gaining a work permit.'

Guzan will become Villa's second summer signing after Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell who moved from Stamford Bridge for around £5million earlier this week.

O'Neill, who has also been linked with Tottenham's Paul Robinson, currently has only one senior keeper at his disposal in Stuart Taylor who is number one during the current tour of Switzerland.

Thomas Sorensen left on a free transfer after not being offered a new contract and Scott Carson has returned to Liverpool after a season long loan at Villa.

Guzan said: 'I would love to sign for Villa. When I was there in January for a few days it was an absolutely brilliant time. Great people, great facilities and I couldn't say one bad thing about it.'

'It looks like exciting times at Villa and I would love to play for Martin O'Neill.

'When I met Martin at the end of January he was a fabulous guy, a great person. The entire staff were outstanding.

'It is about the whole way he carries himself as a manager. To have a guy like Martin O'Neill saying good things about you, it makes you feel good as a player.

'And as a person it makes me feel good to have that interest from such a well-respected manager.

'Being among good people who understand the game of football and are people who able to put players out on the pitch to compete week-in, week-out, that is important to me and that is what I want to be involved in.'

'Hopefully it all goes well (with the work permit). Hopefully I will be able to sign.'