x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Villa near Dunne deal

Aston Villa have agreed a fee with Manchester City for defender Richard Dunne, while Everton agree a fee for Portsmouth's Sylvain Distin.

Aston Villa have agreed a fee with Manchester City for defender Richard Dunne. The Republic of Ireland international, 29, is now negotiating with Villa over personal terms. Dunne's future at Eastlands looked uncertain following the arrival of Joleon Lescott from Everton earlier this week. Dunne was in the team that defeated Wolves last weekend but that looks likely to have been his final match for City. City face Crystal Palace in the League Cup tonight at Selhurst Park where Lescott is in line to make his debut. Villa are also hoping to complete the signing of Blackburn left-back Stephen Warnock in the next 24 hours. The 27-year-old defender is believed to have undergone a medical ahead of a £4million (Dh28.3m) move to Villa. Club officials are making no comment but sources close to Villa are optimistic a deal may even be completed ahead of tonight's Europa League second leg qualifier with Rapid Vienna. Warnock has been among manager martin O'Neill's main targets during a summer in which his net spending so far has only been around £6m. He splashed out £21million for Stewart Downing, Fabian Delph and Habib Beye but recouped around £15million from the sale of Gareth Barry and Zat Knight. Bolstering the back four has been O'Neill's priority since the retirement of Martin Laursen and selling Knight to Bolton and with Wilfred Bouma still not ready to return after a year-long injury lay-off. Warnock has played more than 100 games for Blackburn since his move from Liverpool in 2007. Meanwhile Everton have agreed a deal to sign defender Sylvain Distin from Portsmouth, and the player will have a medical this evening. Everton are armed with funds after selling Lescott to Manchester City and Distin will be effectively a like-for-like replacement. The fee involved has not been disclosed, but 31-year-old Distin has agreed a three-year contract and will sign ? providing he passes his medical. Everton chief executive Robert Elstone told the club's official website: "After Sylvain made it clear his preferred destination was Goodison, the chairman [Bill Kenwright] moved quickly to finalise the deal ? and Sylvain is now on his way to Merseyside to undergo a medical."

* PA Sport