Aston Villa have completed the signing of Blackburn goalkeeper Brad Friedel for an undisclosed fee.
The American has put pen to paper on a three-year deal after talks with Villa boss Martin O'Neill proved productive.
Manchester City were also thought to be interested in the 37-year-old, with their new manager Mark Hughes well aware of the player's capabilities having worked with him at Ewood Park.
However, it is Villa who have stolen a march on their Premier League rivals to land one of the division's most respected goalkeepers.
Friedel is delighted to be joining a club he feels is heading in the right direction under O'Neill's stewardship.
"Making this move was a very easy decision and a very difficult decision to make all at the same time," he told the club's official website.
"I'd been at Blackburn eight years and this was going to be my ninth season. The fans and everyone at the club have been terrific with me.
"In saying that I'm really excited to be here at Aston Villa. Being able to work with these players, with Martin O'Neill and with Mr (Randy) Lerner (club owner) is exciting for me.
"I've really got the feeling this club is going places and that's the main reason why I'm here.
"Martin was the main factor in my moving to Villa. I know a lot has been said about my Cleveland connection and my United States connection with Mr Lerner. I have spoken to him and he's a fantastic guy.
"But it was all down to Martin and the ambition of the club, also Martin's relationship with his chairman, the tremendous players here and the other players they want to bring in to make the squad bigger, stronger and better.
"I know there was a lot going on in the press about Manchester City but from day one it was always Aston Villa.
"Aston Villa were ever so professional in the manner that they dealt with everything and I couldn't be happier. I'm very pleased to be here."
Blackburn completed the signing of Tottenham's Paul Robinson on Friday evening; a deal which paved the way for Friedel's departure.
It had looked as though Villa would sign Scott Carson on a permanent basis after he spent the whole of last season on-loan at the Midlands outfit, but O'Neill spurned the opportunity as he wanted a more experienced custodian.
Friedel, who made 287 appearances during his time at Blackburn, certainly fits such criteria and was in attendance as Villa beat Odense in the Intertoto Cup on Saturday.