Aston Villa reject £5m James Chester bid from Stoke City
Aston Villa have rejected a £5m bid from Stoke City for defender James Chester.
Chester was one of Steve Bruce's most reliable players last season, playing every minute of the club's league season, which ended in the play-off final defeat to Fulham.
Following that loss, Villa's very future was thrown into turmoil, with financial crisis striking - resulting in Bruce's admission that big players will need to leave this summer.
Chester is considered, alongside the likes of Jack Grealish and Jonathan Kodjia, as one of the club's most valuable assets, and is likely to depart as Bruce needs to meet FFP guidelines.
Stoke are now the first side to lodge a bid on the Welsh international, although Villa have rebuffed the offer. Villa value their talismanic defender at around double Stoke's initial bid.
Stoke have already spent big this summer, signing Benik Afobe from Wolves, and are among the favourites to bounce back into the Premier League this season.