Stoke City have been one of the busiest sides in the transfer window this summer, signing no more than eight players, for just under £40m. Now the Potters are set to do battle with Aston Villa for signing number nine.

Isaac Hayden has found himself in the news this week for all the wrong reasons, with the former Arsenal youth player submitting a formal transfer request in the hopes of forcing a move before deadline day ended. Hayden now finds himself in a form of limbo at St. James Park, with any hopes of a first-team return firmly quashed, the one-time Championship winner’s best hopes are for a loan move until January, with Aston Villa and Stoke City chasing the midfielder’s signature.

As for Steve Bruce’s men, the playoff finalists find themselves in the hunt for the Newcastle outcast, having managed to stabilise the clubs assets following the uncertainty that ensued at the start of the season around the clubs finances. Villa enjoyed a late flurry in the transfer market, bringing in the likes of John McGinn and Axel Tuanzebe before the deadline and now want Hayden amongst their ranks as well.

Stoke have found themselves guilty of underestimating the calibre of the Championship, with a squad more than worthy of its title of Championship favourites, Gary Rowett’s men were on the wrong end of battering from Leeds United on opening day and then secured a less than convincing 1-1 draw at home to Brentford the following week.

Villa, on the other hand, seem to have put all their uncertainty behind them with three wins from three so far, including a 1-0 away win at Yeovil to book their spot in round two of the Carabao Cup against Burton. Stoke City will play Premier League side Huddersfield.

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