Should Aston Villa consider a free transfer move for Sylvain Distin this summer?

Bournemouth's Sylvain Distin encourages teammates after Portsmouth's Gary Roberts (not pictured) scored their first goal

The veteran centre-back was released by Bournemouth this week.

Newcastle United's Aleksandar Mitrovic and Bournemouth's Sylvain Distin in action

Aston Villa are likely to undergo something of a squad overhaul this summer as they prepare for life in the Championship, and one area which certainly needs improving is the defence.

Villa conceded 76 goals in their 38 Premier League games this season, nine more than any other side, and their leaky backline was one of the major reasons for their dismal campaign.

Experienced defenders Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott were brought in last summer to little avail, and due to injury problems and lack of form that pair rotated in the centre-back slots with Ciaran Clark, Jores Okore.

Bournemouth's Sylvain Distin in action with Portsmouth's Marc McNulty

With at least one of Richards and Lescott likely to leave, Clark reportedly attracting serious interest from West Bromwich Albion, and Okore refusing to offer any guarantees on his future, Villa are sure to need further defensive reinforcements this summer.

They will have Nathan Baker back from his loan spell at Bristol City, but whoever takes over as permanent Villa boss could perhaps do worse than considering bringing former Everton and Manchester City man Sylvain Distin to Villa Park.

Many would be sceptical of a move for Distin, with the defender turning 39 midway through next season, and with moves for experience not serving the club particularly well this term.

Joleon Lescott v Sylvain Distin: Head to Head: Lescott vs Distin, Premier League 2015-16: 20160524

However, Distin has the advantage, unlike Lescott, of being a model professional and a fantastic man to have in a club's dressing room, something which Villa desperately need more of next season.

The Frenchman would undoubtedly need to be handled with caution, but even if he featured in just a third of next season's Championship fixtures, as he did in Bournemouth's Premier League debut this term, he could prove a valuable addition.

Distin seems a likely candidate to move into coaching after hanging up his boots, and perhaps a move which allowed him to take his first steps down that path as well as contributing when he can on the pitch would work for both parties.

Bournemouth's Sylvain Distin encourages teammates after Portsmouth's Gary Roberts (not pictured) scored their first goal

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch