Stoke City are set to sign former Aston Villa defender James Chester on a permanent deal following a loan spell last season as reported by Stoke On Trent Live.

Chester spent the second half of last season on loan at Stoke and has departed Aston Villa following the expiry of his contract this summer.

The defender is now set to sign for Michael O’Neill’s side on a permanent basis on a free transfer.

Chester made 16 appearances for the Potters during his loan spell as he helped guide them to safety and ensure they will be playing Championship football once again next season.

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The 31-year-old has been in discussions with Stoke over a permanent move and he will bring a wealth of Football League experience following spells with Peterborough United, Plymouth Argyle, Carlisle United, Hull City and West Bromwich Albion.

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The centre-back has over 350 league appearances to his name and is a real coup for Stoke as they look to secure the signing in preparation for next season.

Stoke completed their first signing of the summer last week with the arrival of left-back Morgan Fox who also joined on a free transfer with his contract at Sheffield Wednesday having expired.

The Potters endured a frustrating season as they struggled towards the bottom of the Championship table until O’Neil’s arrival where they steadily improved in the final few months of the campaign.

Stoke will be hoping they can improve on their form from last season and push further up the table.

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Will James Chester be a good signing for Stoke City?