Manchester City have completed the signing of England midfielder Gareth Barry from Aston Villa for £12m.
The 28-year-old was linked with a move to Liverpool last summer but ended up staying at Villa Park, helping them to a sixth-placed finish in the league.
Barry has won 29 caps for England and played over 400 games for Villa, scoring 52 goals.
Initial thoughts are this is a very good signing.
He should fit perfectly into the squad, being of a good age, ambitious and possessing the characteristics that Mark Hughes is looking for in players he brings in.
A versatile player, he provides plenty of options for us now in terms of how we line up and I can see him playing that central role we have looked for since Michael Johnson suffered his injury problems.
I did perhaps fear that Arsenal and/or Liverpool may hijack the deal at the last minute and it is perhaps testament to the club that they began and concluded negotiations in around twenty-four hours.
Garry Cook enthused at tonights kit launch that Barry was an impressive character, a "leader", and was genuinely positive about arriving at the club and wanting to play for us and people have already suggested he could be a potential captain of the side.
"There is great potential here, and I'm sure there will be more additions to the squad this summer".
Interestingly, Cook also said that there were three other potential deals that were being worked on and that Mark Hughes was looking to tie all deals up by mid July at the latest so that the squad he had at the start of pre-season was the one that would head into 2009/10.