Aston Villa among front-runners for Porto defender Rolando - report

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Aston Villa are hoping to beat both midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion and Inter Milan to the signature of out-of-favour Porto defender Rolando in the coming transfer window.

Aston Villa have emerged among the leading contenders to land Porto centre-back Rolando in the winter, according to several Italian reports.

Rolando, 29, has been frozen out of the first-team at the Estadio do Dragao during the past two seasons, with rumoured summer interest from the likes of Everton, Queens Park Rangers and Sunderland failing to result in a move.

Having entered the final seasons of his contract, the Portuguese international could be available for as little as €1.3 million come the next transfer window, and midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion are understood to be weighing up a potential offer.

However, Inter Milan, who had the Cape Verdean-born defender on loan last season, remain interested in bringing him back to the San Siro, having established himself as a fan favourite over the course of his 29 Serie A appearances.

Rolando was once a core part of the Porto lineup, scoring an impressive 17 goals in 174 games from 2008 to 2012, while winning three Primeira Liga titles, two Portuguese Cups and the Europa League in 2011.

A member of the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 squads, the 19-times capped veteran was shipped out to Napoli for the second-half of the 2012-13 campaign, however, after falling out of favour with manager Victor Pereira, and his future in the Portuguese capital has remained in limbo ever since.

With Ron Vlaar’s own future at Villa in doubt as contract negotiations stall, a forced winter sale would see Paul Lambert’s side needing a low-cost replacement to step in for their departed skipper, and Rolando could well end up being the best option.

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