Fulham have completed the signing of Northern Ireland international defender Aaron Hughes from Aston Villa, the club have confirmed today.

The 27 year-old has signed a three-year contract at Craven Cottage, where he will be reunited with his former international manager Lawrie Sanchez. The fee for the centre half is understood to be in the region of £1m. Hughes made 54 league appearances in two years at Villa Park, having come through the ranks at Newcastle.

Hughes told Fulham’s official website: “I’m delighted to be joining Fulham and am looking forward to working with Lawrie Sanchez at club level. I enjoyed my time at Aston Villa, but when this opportunity presented itself, I had no hesitation in coming to discuss the manager’s ambitions for the club, which obviously were of great interest to me. I’m happy to have signed before the start of pre-season, which gives me the opportunity of being with the lads on day one, when we come back to training next week.

Sanchez added: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring Aaron to Fulham. As my captain while I was manager at Northern Ireland, I saw his obvious leadership skills and his qualities as a player which are widely recognised, so I’m delighted that he becomes my first signing of the summer. He’ll bring some much needed depth to the squad and a level of commitment and tenacity that forms an integral part of my philosophy for next season’s campaign.”