Aston Villa are preparing to offer captain James Chester a new contract, according to The Telegraph.
Villa recently moved to tie the in-demand Jack Grealish down to a new deal and Chester could follow suit, with a new contract said to be in the pipeline.
Wales international Chester has been a shining light for the Villains, who have made a slow start to the 2018/19 campaign. Steve Bruce’s side were tipped for promotion but have underwhelmed in the early stages, heaping pressure on Bruce to act quickly and reverse the club’s fortunes.
Chester is integral to Bruce’s plans having worked under him during the pair’s time at Hull City and is commonly regarded as one of the division’s best central defenders. If the captain committed to a new deal, it would provide another boost for a club that is desperately in need of one after slumping to a disappointing defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in their last outing.
It would also help fend off interest from elsewhere after he attracted interest from Championship rivals Stoke City during the summer.
Villa face Bristol City on Friday night and may have bolstered their defensive ranks by the time they arrive at Ashton Gate. As well as preparing to hand Chester a new deal, the under-fire Bruce is rumoured to be plotting a move for free agent Steven Caulker.
Caulker has been without a club since leaving Dundee in August and the former Tottenham Hotspur man could find himself partnered with Chester in the heart of Villa’s defence.