Aston Villa eye up forgotten Champions League defender this Jan

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Aston Villa have already kicked their miserly January habits during the current transfer window, splashing what is a fortune for them on Carles Gil, and seem to quite like the feeling that spending money gives them as they seek new recruits.

The Spanish midfielder has already proved a hit for the club, scoring a peach of a curler on his first start in the FA Cup win over Bournemouth. As Paul Lambert looks to further strengthen his side this winter, he can only hope anyone that follows Gil through the door will adapt as quickly.

Lambert’s next area of emphasis seems to be the heart of his defence, perhaps because of the injuries to Ron Vlaar and Philippe Senderos and the nagging interest from bigger clubs that forever seems to be associated with the former.

If the Scot does harbour any fears about losing his skipper, then it seems a forgotten international footballer with Champions League experience is the man he wishes to bring in.

29-year-old Portuguese defender Rolando hasn’t made a single appearance in any competition for his current club Porto this season, but has a CV worthy of a pursuit for the former Norwich tactician.

It seems the Cape Verde native has been out of favour at Estadio do Dragao for some time, spending the latter half of 2013 on loan at Napoli before being farmed out temporarily to Inter Milan the following season.

Prior to his fall from grace though, the 19-cap international was a key figure to Porto’s success, winning the league three times between 2008 and 2012 and adding a Europa League crown to his mantelpiece too.

Obviously with his gametime denied at the Portuguese club it would take Rolando a fair while to get back up to speed should he arrive at Villa Park, but his past achievements indicate he could be a shrewd acquisition once he does.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.