James Chester: Aston Villa reject £5m Stoke City offer for Wales international defender

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
James Chester
James Chester started his career at Manchester United

Stoke City have made a £5m offer for Aston Villa defender James Chester.

Villa boss Steve Bruce wants to keep Chester, who he previously worked with at Hull City, and it is understood Stoke's initial bid has been rejected.

However, such is Villa's financial situation as they try to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations that player sales are inevitable.

Villa paid West Brom around £8m for Chester in August 2016 and he has scored seven goals in 91 league games.

Midfielder Jack Grealish is the member of Villa's squad who could attract the most money but Chester is the first player they have received a serious bid for and with the Potters willing to go higher, their chances of landing the 29-year-old are high.

New boss Gary Rowett has been tasked with guiding Stoke back into the Premier League at the first attempt and has already presided over major changes at the Britannia Stadium this summer.

Striker Benik Afobe and Nigeria midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo have already been signed, with star man Xherdan Shaqiri and goalkeeper Lee Grant amongst those to depart, for Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.