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Senderos set for swift Premier League return at Aston Villa

| 04.06.2014

Aston Villa, 3/1 shots for Premier League relegation next season, are closing in on the capture of former Fulham and Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos on a free transfer.

The 29-year-old Switzerland international is set to undergo a medical with the West Midlands outfit, before flying out with his country to the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Senderos, who has made almost 150 Premier League appearances, quit Fulham in January for Spanish giants Valencia. His spell at the Mestalla shall be short-lived, however, as he is on the verge of sealing a return to the English top-flight after just five La Liga appearances.

Villa manager Paul Lambert has clearly identified central defence as an area strengthen for next season, as his side lost leads and precious points in several high-profile matches. The Lions got their noses in front in away games at Everton, Liverpool and Manchester United, but failed to win any of those encounters.

Only the sides relegated from the Premier League this term – Cardiff, Norwich and Senderos’ former side Fulham – conceded more goals than the 62 shipped by Villa.

What is more worrying to their supporters, though, is how similar Senderos is in height and style to Netherlands counterpart and club captain Ron Vlaar. The Dutchman, also 29, is out of contract at Villa Park next summer, and this arrival may spark speculation he will be sold, rather than Lambert running the risk of losing him for nothing in subsequent transfer windows.

Senderos, who has more than 50 senior Swiss caps, is seen as the lynchpin of their defence. Young Boys Berne centre back Steve von Bergen, ex-Arsenal teammate Johan Djourou, or young set piece threat Fabian Schar will partner him at the Brazil finals.

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s Switzerland are 12/5 second-favourites to win their World Cup pool (Group E) behind France, and they will also play American nations Ecuador and Honduras.

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Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.