According to latest reports, Stoke City are seriously considering an offer for Aston Villa defender, James Chester. Gary Rowett plans on fielding the 28-year-old next to Ryan Shawcross in the Potters backline to secure an instant promotion back to the Premier League.

The Villans themselves are strained for cash right now and could be persuaded into selling their star defensive ace. The club owner, Tony Xia is currently dealing with pressures of bankrolling the club out of his own pocket and also the headache of an unpaid 5m tax bill.

Steve Bruce has been ordered to reduce the wage bills by almost half through the summer transfer window which would mean letting go of some of the most valued players. The Clarets and Blues could not get past Fulham in the EFL Championship playoff finals to earn a place in next season’s Premier League.

The top-flight would have guaranteed around £170m through television rights and advertisement but now the club is still £11m in debt. With competition spicing up for Chester, maybe Bruce will be able to scavenge the best deal out of his sale to help pay off some of the liabilities.

However, losing Chester could play a huge part in Villans upcoming campaign. John Terry declined an extension after spending a season with the Birmingham-based outfit and in the process left a huge gap in the club’s defensive ranks.

The Villans currently have Tommy Elphick, Chris Samba and Micah Richards in the centre-back position other than Chester. While there are cheap alternatives in the present market, it will be hard to attract quality players with Aston Villa’s limited financial pedigree.

Chester was instrumental for the Claret and Blues’ chase for promotion last term. He paired up with Terry at the back to make 50 appearances across all competitions. The 28-year-old also contributed with 3 goals and an assist on the offensive end.

He was brought in from West Brom in the summer of 2016 with 2 years still left on his current deal. The Manchester United academy graduate has managed to make a name for himself in the Championship and will bring a lot of experience into the Stoke lineup.

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Prior to his time with Villa, the defender played for Hull City and made 171 total appearances. Standing at 5 feet 11 inches tall, he is not the biggest of all defenders but certainly is skilled enough to make a massive difference for the Potters.

Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.