By Derek Smithson
Aston Villa are set to return with a second bid for Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim that the Midlands giants have opened talks with the Premier League side for the 33-year-old and saw a £500,000 offer rejected.
It is understood that Steve Bruce’s side will return with an “improved offer” for a player that is ready to leave the bet365 Stadium.
The report details that Stoke are willing to sell the Republic of Ireland international and want nearer £800,000 for his signature.
Darren Fletcher’s recent arrival at the Potters has seen the future of Whelan come under threat and Villa are going to add some extra fire to their midfield options.
Whelan has been a mainstay in the Stoke starting line-up during his time with the club and racked up 337 appearances for them.
The combative midfielder is renowned for his tough tackling in the centre of the park and also his ability in possession.
He helped achieve promotion to the Premier League with Stoke in the 2007/-08 season and has been a reliable top-flight player ever since.
Football Insider verdict:
Villa are rightly considered one of the favourites for the Championship title next season and already have a squad that looks capable of achieving promotion. Bruce should still be looking for a few additions to bolster his squad and some extra determination in the midfield would help. Whelan may not be the star-studded name that some fans are hoping for, but he would be a superb addition for the club. The central midfielder is certainly still Premier League quality and would be a class above in the Championship. He has racked up 81 international caps during his career and would bring some much-needed experience to the squad. The Stoke powerhouse should be able to dictate games if he moves to Villa Park and a potential midfield trio Whelan, Mile Jedinak and Conor Hourihane should be unstoppable.
In other Aston Villa news, they are set to battle Wolves for an International midfielder.