Rafa Benitez makes Ciaran Clark's Newcastle recruitment official

"I am sure he will progress with us here at Newcastle"

Ciaran Clark, Ireland

Ciaran Clark ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Ciaran Clark has become the first Irish international to make a big-money move during the summer transfer window.

The 26-year-old has joined Newcastle from Championship rivals Aston Villa for £5.1 million.

The centre-half has signed a five-year contract with the Magpies, where he will work under manager Rafa Benitez, who has been busy strengthening the Newcastle squad.

"Ciaran is a very versatile player, as a left-footed centre-back he can also play left-back and also as a defensive midfielder," said Benitez.

"He has a lot of experience of English football and will add good balance and competition to our squad. I am sure he will progress with us here at Newcastle, we are very happy for him to join us."

Aside from Clark, Mohamed Diame is set to arrive, while Dwight Gayle, Matt Richie and Jesus Gamez are among those who have signed already.

Clark has won 19 caps for Ireland since making his debut in 2011 and was part of Ireland's Euro 2016 squad, starting the opening two matches.