By Danny Wright
Aston Villa have opened negotiations with Stoke over a deal for midfielder Glenn Whelan, according to a report.
The Irish Sun claims that the 33-year-old is also wanted by Burnley, who are yet to make contact with their Premier League rivals.
It is understood that Whelan may have fallen down the pecking order at the Bet365 Stadium after the deal announcing the imminent arrival of Darren Fletcher from West Brom last week.
The report states that Aston Villa are “confident of landing” the Stoke veteran, who has been at the Premier League club since 2008 following a move from Sheffield Wednesday.
Despite his age, Whelan still played a role in the Potters’ recent campaign, making 31 appearances across all competitions in Mark Hughes’ side.
He began his career at Manchester City but failed to make an appearance for them before he was released to Sheffield Wednesday in 2004.
After four years at Hillsborough, Whelan moved to Stoke for £500,000 and has since made a total of 337 appearances for the Staffordshire-based outfit.
The 80-times Republic of Ireland international has helped Stoke to the Premier League in 2007/08 and was also part of the squad that came runners-up in the 2011 FA Cup final.
Football Insider Verdict
Whelan would be a great signing for Villa because although he has a year left on his contract, the acquisition of Fletcher could mean he’s surplus to requirements and he might be available for a very low fee. Steve Bruce is reported to have limited resources over the summer due to Financial Fair Play limits so snapping up a very experienced player for a small amount could work out to be very good business. Whelan has been around the block a few times and could be a star in the Championship after his solid performances in the top flight with Stoke over the years.
In other Aston Villa news, why Bruce should try to sign this unwanted Newcastle player.