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Blackburn sign England keeper Robinson

  • Story Highlights
  • New Blackburn manager Paul Ince has made his first signing for the club
  • England goalkeeper Paul Robinson joins from Tottenham for £3.5 million ($7m)
  • Aston Villa complete deal to sign United States goalkeeper Brad Freidel
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(CNN) -- New Blackburn manager Paul Ince has made his first signing for the club, snapping up England goalkeeper Paul Robinson from Tottenham for a fee of £3.5 million ($7m) on a five-year contract.

Robinson leaves Tottenham to join Blackburn after losing his place for club and country last season.

Robinson leaves Tottenham to join Blackburn after losing his place for club and country last season.

The 28-year-old Robinson will be hoping for a fresh start at Ewood Park after a remarkable fall from grace at White Hart Lane.

A series of high-profile errors saw Robinson lose his position as No.1 for both England and Tottenham, where he lost his first-team place to Czech Radek Cerny.

The summer signing of Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes from PSV Eindhoven gave a strong indication that Robinson was not going to figure uner manager Juande Ramos -- and he has chosen to return north after starting his career with Leeds United.

The size of the transfer fee is a modest one for a player who was undisputed England number one under successive coaches before Scott Carson's shock selection by Steve McClaren in the fateful match against Croatia last November.

With Robinson arriving, Aston Villa later completed a deal to sign Blackburn's current goalkeeper Brad Friedel on a three-year deal.

The Premier League teams had already settled upon a transfer fee for the 37-year-old Friedel, who only extended his contract with Blackburn through to 2010 in February, but Blackburn had previously said they would only sell if another club accepted their offer for a replacement -- which has now happened.

Friedel will join another American goalkeeper, Brad Guzan, at Villa. The 23-year-old will learn next week whether he can have the work permit he needs to play in the Premier League.

Villa agreed this month to sign Guzan from Major League Soccer's Chivas USA, and a hearing to decide whether he can have a permit has been scheduled for August 1.

The formality thwarted a deal in January, but Guzan has played more international football since then, improving his chances of joining the Birmingham club this time.

"We're hoping that having come so close in January, we can get the work permit this time around," O'Neill said. "All told, I think his position has improved, so fingers crossed that might help -- but who knows?"

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