London: Premier League champions Manchester United continued their close-season restructuring and acquisition of home-grown talent when they signed Aston Villa and England forward Ashley Young on Thursday.
Young, who agreed a five-year contract in a deal estimated to be worth around 15 million pounds, is manager Alex Ferguson`s second June buy.
The United boss is bidding to strengthen his ranks following last season`s 19th Premier League title and Champions League final appearance in which they were largely outclassed by a rampant Barcelona side.
The 25-year-old winger, who can also play as a second striker, joins England under-21 defender Phil Jones, who moved to United from Blackburn Rovers in another big-money move earlier this month.
"Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Aston Villa for the transfer of Ashley Young," the club said in a statement on their website (www.manutd.com).
"The player passed a medical in Manchester this week and has agreed a five-year contract."
Young joined Villa from Watford in 2007 and has since built a reputation as a consistent Premier League performer with an impressive change of pace and an eye for a pass.
His international career has been stop-start, however, and he has collected only 15 caps since making his debut in 2007.
He did not even make Fabio Capello`s England squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
But he forced his way back into the international setup and showcased his ability to change a game when he came off the bench to score the equalizer in England`s 2-2 draw with Switzerland earlier this month.
He was Villa`s creator-in-chief last season, notching his team`s highest number of assists as he helped them to a ninth-place Premier League finish following a poor start to the campaign.
"The opportunity to come and play for one of the biggest clubs in the world is one I couldn`t turn down," Young told the club website.
"It`s a prospect I always looked at from being a child."
Young is unlikely to be United`s final summer capture, with Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David De Gea expected to arrive at Old Trafford following Spain`s European under-21 championship campaign.