Report: Aston Villa defender Philippe Senderos nearing Rizespor move

Philippe Senderos Switzerland 2

The Swiss centre-back is said to have agreed personal terms with the Turkish club.

Aston Villa centre-back Philippe Senderos is set to become the latest victim of Tim Sherwood’s summer cull, according to Eurosport, with Turkish Super Lig outfit Rizespor reported to be his next destination.

The Switzerland international is said to have been in talks with the club for the past week and, having now agreed personal terms, is expected to travel to Turkey to undergo a medical ahead of penning a two-year deal.

Senderos, 30, joined Villa on a free transfer last June after his contract at Valencia expired and started the 2014-15 season as then-skipper Ron Vlaar’s first-choice centre-back partner.

While his signing had been a polarising one after his previous error-prone spells at Arsenal and Fulham, the 54-times capped defender managed to silence some of his critics over the first four Premier League games of the campaign with an impressive string of performances, as the club conceded just one goal.

The experienced stopper went on to start three further top-flight games but then sustained a thigh strain during Switzerland’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia in October which ruled him out for a month.

He made his comeback as an 88th-minute substitute in November’s 0-0 draw at West Ham United but soon suffered another fitness setback while in international action – a damaged calf which left former manager Paul Lambert fuming with the Swiss FA.

“That's the one I'm not happy about at all, Philippe,” Lambert told the Daily Mail at the time. “He is the one which has annoyed me the most. He went away with his national team and if you look at his record he has only played six minutes, against West Ham, for a month.

“He goes away with Switzerland and ends up pulling his calf in a training exercise. It’s mismanagement from the FA in Switzerland. They should have been in dialogue and seen his record in the first place and that he didn't play for a month.

“It's OK for them to go away and think, ‘We have only lost a centre-half,’ but we have lost him for a month again when he has been a vital part of the team.”

Senderos ended up being sidelined for much more than a month, however, as it was not until April that he would make his comeback in the Under-21 side’s 2-1 defeat to their Newcastle United counterparts.

In his absence, Ciaran Clark, Jores Okore and Nathan Baker had all risen above him in the pecking order and, with Sherwood also replacing Lambert at the helm, he saw no further first-team minutes during the run-in.

 2014-15 Premier League PositionTeamErrors Lead To GoalTotal TacklesTackle AccuracyTotal ClearancesHeaders WonHeader SuccessInterceptionsPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Philippe Senderos DF Aston Villa 0 7 43% 48 6 46% 9 82% 8 632

With the new boss now revamping the squad in his first transfer window in charge, Senderos' anticipated departure comes as little surprise given his lack of pre-season action, having been linked with move since the start of the summer.

Though Vlaar has since left, new captain Micah Richards and Ciaran Clark are now entrenched as the first-choice centre-back pairing, while Jores Okore and Nathan Baker are two more than solid backup options.

Versatile summer signing Jose Angel Crespo can also fill in at centre-half in a pinch and Sherwood has even experimented with holding midfielder Carlos Sanchez at the position.

Nevertheless, the former Gunners prospect's mooted exit does seem to be clearing a path for another defensive addition to be brought in before the transfer window closes, with Southampton skipper Jose Fonte the latest name to be linked with a switch to the Midlands [h/t Sky Sports].

The club had previously been reported as a potential destination for Monaco’s Aymen Abdennour, who is said to have English options on the table [h/t Foot Mercato], but Sherwood himself has since rubbished those rumours.

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