Sky Bet Championship promotion hopefuls Aston Villa have invited unattached defender Chris Samba to train with them during pre-season according to the Birmingham Mail.

The 33-year-old veteran centre-back has been without a club since leaving Greek outfit Panathinaikos in January following an injury hit spell at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium.

Villa offered the former Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers man a chance to earn a contract following his release by Panathinaikos however a deal was not forthcoming. Villa manager Steve Bruce has not yet closed the door on signing Samba and the defender has been invited to train with the club during pre-season in a bid to finally prove his worth.

Samba’s condition is a major concern with the player having been riddled with injury problems in recent years while he looks to be heavier than during his previous spells in England. Should the player re-gain a good level of fitness, there is no doubting the defender’s footballing ability.

The player is most known for his five-year spell with Blackburn Rovers where he made 185 appearances and scored 18 goals. Since leaving Ewood Park in February 2012, Samba has become something of a journeyman with the defender having featured in short spells for Anzhi Makhachkala (twice), QPR, Dynamo Moscow and Panathinaikos and the player will hope to finally find a home at Villa Park.

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I am Dan Pentland and I am a York City season ticket holder and volunteer for men's health charity Prostate Cancer UK. In May 2015, I completed my childhood dream of visiting all 92 Football League grounds. Follow me on Twitter @DanPentlandpcuk and Facebook