Villa Luc-ing strong as Toffees left-back Digne joins
Aston Villa have completed the signing of left-back Lucas Digne from Everton for a reported fee of £25million.
The Midlands outfit saw off competition from a host of Premier League clubs to land the France international.
Digne, 28, was always expected to leave Goodison Park this month after falling out with Toffees boss Rafa Benitez.
And Villa chief Steven Gerrard could not believe his luck at bringing in the Frenchman during the January window.
Gerrard said: "When Lucas became available we jumped at the opportunity to bring him to the club.
"To sign a player of his pedigree and quality in the January window is a great addition to our squad and his arrival excites me and everyone associated with Aston Villa."
Digne follows Philippe Coutinho to Villa Park after the Brazilian joined on loan from Barcelona until the end of the season.
The full-back sent a heartfelt message to Evertonians on Instagram last night explaining that he never saw his "love affair" with the club ending so soon.
He wrote: "Only one year ago, I signed a new contract with the ambition of staying in this club for a long time, giving everything for my club, for the development and project, that I believed in — and for the passionate fans.
"My dream was helping the club get back where it belongs. Wearing the captain's armband in some matches always made me proud.
"Everything must come to an end. I just did not expect it to end this way. What has happened and some things that were said about me in the last month have made me very sad.
"But I will not enter a war of words with anyone. The club don't deserve that, the fans don't deserve that — and to be honest, I don't feel that I deserve that.
"There are so many good and decent people in and around Everton who want the best for this club and not only for themselves — and to them I can only say from my heart: I wish you the best!
"Thank you, to all you wonderful, proud and passionate true Evertonians. It has been an honour and a true pleasure to play for you, the fans, the people — because a club does not belong to a player or a manager, but to the fans. I will always carry you with me in my heart wherever I go.
"Sometimes it only takes one person from outside to destroy a beautiful love affair."