Stoke City are ready to move to sign James Chester, as new manager Gary Rowett looks to sign a new central defensive partner for Ryan Shawcross to help the club back into the Premier League.

With Kurt Zouma returning to his parent club Chelsea and Kevin Wimmer leaving to join Hannover on loan, it's a position that needs strengthened ahead of the club's first Championship campaign in ten years, and according to Football Insider, they have their sights set on the Aston Villa mainstay as the man to fill the void.


Villa are reportedly not keen to sell the 29-year-old Wales international, who played every single minute of their Championship campaign last season. They may well be forced to sell however, should a concrete offer come in due to the financial hardships facing the club.

It's a situation Stoke will be well aware of, but the reported £20m price tag on Chester's head could prove to be the only sticking point in any potential deal being completed. 

Getting the deal done would represent a solid first step for Rowett in the transfer market as he looks to rebuild his squad, as he would be acquiring a player with vast experience in both the Premier League and the Championship, and one who stood out in a topsy-turvy 2017/18 season for Villa.

It's possible that Chester could join Sunderland midfielder Paddy McNair, as Stoke have reportedly submitted a £4m offer for the former Manchester United player.


Both signings would be key parts of what is expected to be a very busy transfer window for the club, as Badou Ndiaye reportedly heads for the exit door among other high profile departures.