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Villa turn down Stoke bid for Welsh defender

Aston Villa have turned down an opening bid for defender James Chester from fellow Championship club Stoke City.

The 29-year old former Hull City and West Bromwich Albion centre back, was one of Villa’s best players last season in their run to the play-off final, and formed a solid partnership with former Chelsea and England captain John Terry.

Now he is wanted by Stoke who are planning an immediate return to the Premier League, with manager Gary Rowett looking for defensive reinforcements to replace Kurt Zouma, who has returned to Chelsea after his loan move, and Marc Muniesa who has been transferred to Serie A side Genoa.

The Daily Mirror reports that the initial bid made for Chester was £5 million and that, although Villa are desperate for money, they are not ready to let the player leave for a fee so far short of their valuation of him.

However, given that they are strapped for cash, they may well be forced to listen to a higher offer for a player who has been capped 31 times by his country.

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