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Football: Aston Villa bolster ranks with Senderos

Swiss international centre-back Philippe Senderos has joined Aston Villa from Valencia on a free transfer, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

LONDON: Swiss international centre-back Philippe Senderos has joined Aston Villa from Valencia on a free transfer, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

"I am really delighted to be joining Aston Villa, a great club with such a big history, and for me this is a great step in my career," said Senderos, who has signed a two-year contract.

"There will be a lot of competition for places with Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker and Jores Okore also very capable Premier League defenders, so it will be up to me to fight for and to earn my place in the team."

Senderos, 29, previously played for Arsenal and joined Fulham in 2010 after loan spells with AC Milan and Everton.

The 52-cap defender, who will represent Switzerland at the World Cup, joined Valencia from Fulham in January.

He is Villa manager Paul Lambert's first signing of the close season.

"He's played for some top sides and was a big influence in Arsenal's run to the Champions League final in 2006, so we're bringing in a really experienced player who's been there and done it, and that will be important for the team," Lambert told Villa's official website.

"This will be Philippe's third World Cup finals, and there aren't too many players who compete at that level over that stretch of time. He will be a great addition to the group."

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