Stoke City, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa are leading the way in the battle to sign free agent defender Robert Huth, according to SkyBet.

The 19-time Germany international is now a free agent following his release from Leicester City at the end of last season and has been linked with various clubs over the last few weeks.

At 5/4, Stoke are believed to be the favourites to sign the towering centre-half and after playing a behind-closed-doors friendly for the Potters earlier in the week, a romantic return to the club where he made 149 appearances could well be on the cards.

Middlesbrough are also in the running to sign the 33-year-old and see him as a potential short-term replacement for Ben Gibson, who will almost certainly depart the Riverside this summer following Boro’s play-off semi-final heartbreak last season.

At 6/4, the Teessiders are only slightly behind Stoke in the race for Huth’s signature but will have to act fast if they want the former Chelsea man to partner Daniel Ayala next season.

Finally, at 3/1, Aston Villa are relative outsiders in the race to snap up the German, but Steve Bruce likely sees Huth as the perfect replacement for John Terry at the back this season, after Terry parted ways with the club at the end of his contract.

Huth would be a perfect signing for the Villa considering the lack of funds available at the club right now, with Steve Bruce forced to deal in free transfers in order to minimise the financial fallout from Villa’s play-off final defeat to Fulham.

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Sports journalist and editor. Southend-based Reading FC fan. Can sometimes catch me editing for In Bed With Maradona. Find me on Twitter @HarrySmithRFC

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