After news broke yesterday that Aston Villa were ready to stand by Steve Bruce in a managerial role, it has become clear that a number of key Villa players are ready to re-commit to another season at the club. While FFP concerns may force a few sales yet, it seems that James Chester is ready to stay put at Villa, unless his hand is forced by the club.
Reports emerging from the Press Association state that Chester is very much happy under Steve Bruce at Aston Villa and is ready for another crack at promotion. It’s expected that Chester will happily take up the AVFC armband and return to his previous position as captain of the side, following a short interlude by John Terry.
Villa’s recent takeover means that they were able to suppress, then charge down interest from Stoke City, with manager Gary Rowett putting forward a bid of £10,000,000. A lack of financial worries, despite some remaining financial fair play concerns, means that Villa can purse the deals that they want for the players that they would rather keep. Rowett admitted that Villa’s takeover has pretty much stalled any further Stoke interest in Chester, who could command a fee pushing the region £12,000,000 at this point.
Chester’s enthusiasm for Villa surrounds his admiration for Steve Bruce - who helped push Chester forward in his career during his time spent at Hull City. Had Bruce been removed from his position by Villa, it’s possible that Chester may have taken Stoke up on their offer according to the article by the Press Association.
The centre-back would be a massive miss for Villa, and has shined above all of his counterparts during his two seasons at the club. He has yet to miss a single game of league football since joining the Villans and is maturing into an asset of extreme value for the side. Losing him could be a massive blow, due solely to Villa’s defensive weakness - with him being only one of two senior centre-backs at the club.
While Chester could still leave the Villa - it’s looking unlikely that it’ll be an easy job to prise him out of Birmingham, and at the very least, AVFC could attract a sizeable bounty for their main man, and their leader.