Villa agree fee for Sidwell

Aston Villa have agreed a deal to end Steve Sidwell's Chelsea nightmare. Villa manager Martin O'Neill has been chasing Sidwell for several months and will finally get his man this week for a fee of around £5 million, subject to the player passing a medical.

A Villa statement read: "Aston Villa have agreed to sign Chelsea's former England Under-21 midfielder Steve Sidwell, subject to a medical."

Sidwell endured a miserable time at Stamford Bridge, making just seven Premier League starts for the Blues last season following his move from Reading. He has been told by new Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari that he can leave and will join Villa's pre-season tour of Switzerland once the transfer is completed.

But Sidwell's arrival at Villa Park is unlikely to speed Gareth Barry's protracted move to Liverpool, after O'Neill insisted he will only sell the England midfielder for £18 million pounds.