Kieran Richardson: Aston Villa sign Fulham utility player

Aston Villa have signed utility player Kieran Richardson from relegated Fulham for an undisclosed fee.

The 29-year-old, who can play at left-back or on the wing, moves to Villa Park on a two-year contract.

Richardson, who has eight England caps, is Villa's third major summer signing, following the free acquisitions of Joe Cole and Philippe Senderos.

He will link up again with Villa's assistant coach Roy Keane, who made him Sunderland's record signing in 2007.

England international

  • Kieran Richardson won the first of his eight England caps against the USA at Soldier Field, Chicago in May 2005, scoring twice, the first from a free-kick after just four minutes, the second set of them up by new Villa team-mate Joe Cole. But all his other seven caps were as a substitute, the last of them against Holland in November 2006.

"I'm so happy," said Richardson. "Villa are a massive club with lots of history. The fans are magnificent and I'm really looking forward to playing here."

Villa boss Paul Lambert said Richardson, who made 32 appearances last season as Fulham were relegated from the Premier League, would "add pace and a great deal of experience".

He added: "Kieran will complement many of the players here. He's played a lot of games, for a lad who has yet to turn 30."

Richardson, who spent five years at Manchester United, came close to signing for Villa as a teenage trainee before moving to Old Trafford.

He joined Sunderland in July 2007 for a fee in the region of £5.5m before moving to Fulham in August 2012 for a reported £2m.

Villa signed midfielder Cole, 32, from West Ham, while 29-year-old Senderos joined from Valencia.

Meanwhile, Villa have announced that Sean Kimberley, 45, will take over when the club's long-serving academy director Bryan Jones retires at the end of August.

Lifelong Villa fan Kimberley was assistant academy director at Blackburn Rovers prior to his appointment as Villa's youth development officer in 2007.