Rio Ferdinand is set to reject a move to Aston Villa after leaving Manchester United on a free transfer. The former England international is understood to be exploring other options after bringing the curtain down on his 12-year spell at Old Trafford.

Villa were keen to sign Ferdinand, according to the Daily Mail, in order to add some much-needed experience to the heart of their defence. The Midlands club secured the services of former Arsenal and Fulham central defender Philippe Senderos earlier this week, and they had hoped to complete a dream double swoop by sealing Ferdinand’s signature.

However, Villa will need to look elsewhere, with Ferdinand still considering his options. It’s believed that Galatasaray, LA Galaxy and Tottenham are all keen to sign the classy centre-back, who made over 450 appearances for the Red Devils.

The ex-West Ham and Leeds United star turns 36 in November but remains one of the Premier League’s most reliable central defenders. And having won six Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, a Club World Cup and a Champions League winners’ medal - not to mention the 81 England caps - he is right up there amongst the most experienced and successful English players of his generation.

Villa boss Paul Lambert has identified the need to strengthen his team’s fragile defence after finishing last season just five points above the relegation zone. The Villains conceded 61 goals, which was the most of any team with the exception of the bottom three.

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Aston Villa
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Rio Ferdinand