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Aston Villa complete signing of Colombia star Carlos Sanchez

Aston Villa, 11/4 chances with Coral to be relegated, have completed the signing of Colombia midfield anchor Carlos Sanchez from La Liga side Elche on a four-year contract.

The 28-year-old turned out in four of the five matches South American nation Colombia played at the World Cup in Brazil on their run to the quarter-finals. Sanchez was also wanted by QPR, but has chosen to throw his lot in with Villa boss Paul Lambert instead of Hoops manager Harry Redknapp.

QPR are now expected to look elsewhere for midfield reinforcements, with tabloid reports claiming Redknapp is closing in on former Swansea City loanee and Dutch international Jonathan de Guzman. Compatriot Leroy Fer, still on the books at Norwich City, has also been linked with a summer switch to Loftus Road.

A holding midfielder to free up deep-lying playmaker Ashley Westwood and the eye-catching Fabian Delph could help Villa, as they bid to avoid being sucked into a perpetual battle to stay in the top-flight.

Morocco international Karim El Ahmadi is Lambert’s current first-choice option for in front of the back four, while versatile Australian Chris Herd can also fill in there. Mali’s Yacouba Sylla, meanwhile, has been sent on a season-long loan to Turkish team Kayseri Erciyesspor.

West Midlands outfit Villa were chasing the signature of Swansea’s South Korea international Ki Sung-Yueng, after he spent last season on loan at Sunderland, but his parent club have entered negotiations over extending his stay at the Liberty Stadium.

Lambert has now landed Sanchez instead, who has 44 caps for his country. The player has earned the nickname the Rock, because of his no nonsense, combative style.

Villa, who are 10/3 chances for a top 10 finish, have made four other summer signings, swooping for Switzerland centre back Philippe Senderos, ex-England internationals Kieran Richardson and Joe Cole, and former Liverpool loanee Aly Cissokho.