Whelan ends nine-year Stoke City stay by joining Aston Villa

Aston Villa have announced the signing of Republic of Ireland international Glenn Whelan from Stoke City, paying a fee of £1.25 million rising to a potential £2m for the midfielder.

Whelan has signed a two-year deal for Steve Bruce's Villa as they attempt to return to the Premier League, joining new signings John Terry, Ahmed Elmohamady and Sam Johnstone at the club.

The 33-year-old will be hoping for regular football in a World Cup year and is targeting promotion from the Championship with Villa this season.

"I have enjoyed happy times at Stoke City but now is the time for a new football adventure - and what a club to join in Aston Villa," Whelan said.

"We may be in the Championship but everything about this club screams Premier League - and it's the job of the players to get us back up there.

"I am looking forward to working with Steve Bruce. I know he has a phenomenal record in achieving promotion to the top-flight and, having spoken to him at length, I am more than aware of how much he wants to get back there again with this great club."

Whelan joined Stoke from Sheffield Wednesday in January 2008 for £500,000 and made more than 330 appearances for the club.

"Whelan has been a model of consistency throughout his time in North Staffordshire and few players can have provided such excellent value for money," a Stoke statement said. "The club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Glenn for his undoubted contribution and wish him all the best for the future."

Meanwhile, Stoke have confirmed Belgian youth international Thibaud Verlinden has agreed a five-year professional deal at the club.

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