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Aston Villa set to offer contract to former Blackburn Rovers defender

Aston Villa are set to offer former Blackburn Rovers defender Chris Samba a contract at some point this summer, according to The Mirror.

Samba has been training with Aston Villa for the last five months and looks to be close to earning a permanent deal with the club.  He has played two pre-season games for Villa this summer, helping the side to keep a clean sheet on both occasions.

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce recently said: “He’s trained very well. And from day one, it’s not as if he’s on trial, he’s just wanted to train and prove himself to us. He’s been excellent.”

Samba’s first spell in England came with Blackburn Rovers, signing for a fee of £450,000 in January 2007.  The defender went on to become a first-team regular and a key player for Blackburn, forming a formidable partnership with Ryan Nelsen at the heart of the Rovers’ defence.

After five years and 185 appearances, Samba decided to leave Blackburn in February 2012.  He made a £12.3 million move to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, linking up with Guus Hiddink.

Less than a year later, Samba returned to the Premier League with Queens Park Rangers before making the move back to Anzhi following QPR’s relegation.  The defender made only five appearances for the Russian side and then signed for Dynamo Moscow.

Most recently, Samba played for Greek side Panathinaikos.  However, after five injury-filled months, the defender had his contract terminated by mutual consent.

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Since then, Samba has been training with Championship side Aston Villa in the hope of earning a contract with the club.

It is believed that Bruce is waiting to move some defenders on before signing Samba, with Tommy Elphick expected to be the next out of the door.

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