Paul Robinson has suggested that Aston Villa may look to extend defender James Chester’s contract if they’re relegated from the Premier League this season.
The 31-year-old joined Stoke City on loan in January and has been a mainstay in the first team since.
Chester featured in the Potters six previous games before the fixture delay began and helped avoid defeat in all but two of those games.
That run has meant Michael O’Neill’s side have climbed up to 17th in the Championship, though as they’re just three points above the relegation zone they will have some work to do once the season resumes.
You’d imagine Chester will have a significant role to play in that and as his Villa deal expires at the end of the 2019/20 campaign, he might be someone that Stoke look to sign permanently in the upcoming transfer window.
They may face some competition, however, as Robinson has told Football Insider that his parent club may look to extend his deal if they’re relegated from the Premier League this season.
He said: “Any player like that you are going to stand up and take notice but I think it depends massively on what league Villa are in next year.
“Scott Hogan is doing himself no harm, he is scoring goals at that level regularly and playing well, so it would be silly not to put him back into the ranks. The same applies to James Chester. Players that have not fitted in but gone out and done well elsewhere.”
Relegation is certainly something that Villa need to be concerned about as they’re 19th in the Premier League with 10 games left of the season – two points away from safety.
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You feel Villa would be mad not to try and keep hold of Chester if they do drop down into the Championship.
The 31-year-old has played 238 times in the division and on top of that experience, is a quality defender at that level.
It may come down to an issue of playing time, however, as Villa do have some good depth at centre-back.
Chester is certainly someone that Stoke should be looking to sign permanently – if that is a possibility.