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Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 2:02:02 AM
Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 2:02:06 AM
(Reuters) - Aston Villa signed last season's Europa League top scorer Libor Kozak from Lazio on Monday and allowed midfielder Stephen Ireland to rejoin his former boss Mark Hughes on loan at English Premier League rivals Stoke City.
Czech Republic striker Kozak, 24, who netted 10 times during Lazio's run to the quarter-finals of Europe's second-tier competition last season, has agreed a four-year deal with Villa.
"Libor has an unbelievable scoring record in the Europa League, incredible really," coach Paul Lambert told the club website (www.avfc.co.uk).
"He wasn't given much opportunity for Lazio in Serie A but he showed potential in leading the line there at a strong club with a great tradition and we need somebody like him as we only have Christian Benteke really as a main target man."
The 6-foot-4 inch Kozak, who has won four caps for the Czechs, is Villa's seventh capture of this transfer window.
Villa also announced on their website that former Ireland midfielder Ireland had joined Stoke on a season-long loan.
Ireland, 27, previously played under Hughes when the Welshman was in charge of Manchester City.
(Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Ken Ferris)
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