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Thursday, January 10, 2008
Spurs defender Chimbonda keen on Villa switch

Tottenham's out-of-favour defender Pascal Chimbonda has admitted he would welcome a move to Aston Villa - according to his agent Willie McKay.

Chimbonda has been told he is surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane, along with another Martin O'Neill target, striker Jermain Defoe.

O'Neill is looking to acquire a specialist right-back after being forced to use centre-back Olof Mellberg in the role for most of the campaign.

He also expressed an interest in Arsenal's Justin Hoyte but Arsene Wenger wants him to remain at the Emirates Stadium.

McKay told PA Sport: 'Would Pascal welcome a move to Aston Villa? Of course he would. He is looking to leave Tottenham and Villa are a big club with great potential.'

Former Wigan defender Chimbonda is slipping down the pecking order under Juande Ramos who has signed Welsh international Chris Gunter and was also interested in Rangers full-back Alan Hutton.

O'Neill ended last season with three right-backs in Aaron Hughes, Mark Delaney and on-loan Phil Bardsley.

But Hughes moved to Fulham, Delaney was forced to retire because of persistent knee problems and Bardsley returned to Manchester United.

Midfielder Craig Gardner started the season at right-back but O'Neill quickly switched Mellberg into the role after four games and he has been there ever since.

With Mellberg's future still in doubt - he has yet to agree a new contract - O'Neill recognises the need to fill the role with an experienced player, and Chimbonda would fit the bill.




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