Carlos Sanchez: Aston Villa sign Colombia World Cup star

Aston Villa have signed defensive midfielder Carlos Sanchez from Elche on a four-year deal.

The Colombia international has joined for an undisclosed fee, subject to international clearance.

The 28-year-old played for his country at this summer's World Cup in Brazil, starting four games as the South Americans reached the quarter-finals.

Villa boss Paul Lambert described the deal as "a great coup", adding: "He'll be an excellent player for the club."

"Carlos is a very experienced professional who played a prominent role in a Colombian team which captured everyone's imagination at this summer's World Cup in Brazil," Lambert added.

"He does the simple things really well and he's excellent at spotting the danger, dealing with it and keeping it simple.

"We've beaten other teams to bring him here to Villa."

Sanchez, who played for Valenciennes in France for six years before moving to Spanish outfit Elche last summer, said: "I'm delighted to be here. It was always my aim to play in this country and in this league."

Villa, who have also signed Joe Cole, Philippe Senderos, Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho this summer, kick off their league campaign at Stoke City on Saturday.