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Everton and Aston Villa vying for Diego deal if both stay up

Two of the Premier League’s relegation battlers, Aston Villa (odds-on at 5/6 with Coral) and Everton (40/1 outsiders, but with one league win since before Christmas), are set to go head-to-head over former Brazil international midfielder Diego at the end of the season.

Reports in the tabloids claim both the Toffees and Villans are vying for his signature, with both teams lacking guile or performers in advanced midfield areas this term.

Currently on Fenerbahce’s books, Diego has also played for Porto, Werder Bremen, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Atletico Madrid in Europe after starting his career with Santos. He has won league titles in Portugal and Spain, as well as the Europa League and domestic cups in two countries.

This glut of silverware, plus two Copa America crowns during 33 caps with his country, gives Diego a winning mentality, which both Everton and Villa need going forward.

Having axed Paul Lambert, who oversaw a serious decline in the West Midlands, Villans owner Randy Lerner has handed the reins to Tim Sherwood. Goals full stop, never mind from midfield, have been a serious issues for this club that has never endured relegation in the Premier League era.

On-loan Manchester United player Tom Cleverley is out of contract at Old Trafford this summer, but is also unlikely to become a permanent acquisition for Villa after no goals or assists in 25 matches across all competitions.

At Goodison Park, meanwhile, Roberto Martinez has endured a tough second season and star midfielder Ross Barkley has netted just once. The Toffees are the only English team definitely through in Europe, though, and will face a hostile trip to Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League last 16.

Both Everton and Villa occupy spots in the Premier League’s bottom seven. While Sherwood is odds-on at 5/6 to keep his team up, a 9/2 price says the West Midlands outfit shall finish last.