Five facts on reported Aston Villa target Rolando

Aston Villa are reported to be chasing Porto's Rolando, but what should fans know about the Portuguese centre-back?

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

Aged 29, the Portuguese international has fallen out of favour at the Estadio do Dragao over the past two seasons, but did impress during a season-long loan at Inter Milan last term.

With Ron Vlaar’s future at Villa Park 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, who continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United.

That in mind, here are five facts on the man who could serve as the Dutchman's replacement, or even contend to line up alongside him in an ideal world.

1) Born in Cape Verde, Rolando move to mainland Portugal at the age of 14 to join the ranks of SC Campomaiorense in 1999, before later signing professional terms with CF Os Belenenses, where he made 99 total appearances from 2004 to 2008.

2) Earning a switch to Primeira Liga giants Porto in the summer of 2008, the towering centre-back would go on establish himself as a core part of the club’s lineup over the next four seasons, scoring an impressive 17 goals in 174 games, while winning three league titles, two Portuguese Cups and the Europa League in 2011.

3) Receiving his senior Portugal debut in 2009 after becoming a naturalised citizen, the 19-times capped international was an unused member of the 2010 World Cup squad but did make three brief substitute appearances at Euro 2012.

4) He would fall out of favour with Porto manager Victor Pereira at the start of the 2012-13 campaign, however, and spend the second half the season on loan at Napoli, before making 29 appearances during another successful Serie A stint with Inter last term.

5) Returning to Portugal in the summer, he was linked to the likes of Everton, Queens Park Rangers and Sunderland during the transfer window but a move failed to materialise, leaving him confined to the club’s reserves for the time being.

However, having entered the final season of his contract, he could be available for as little as €1.3 million come the winter and, though Inter are reported to be looking to bring him back to the San Siro, both Villa and midlands rivals West Brom remain serious contenders for his signature.

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