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Stoke City ‘one of four’ teams chasing out-of-contract Premier League defender

Aston Villa’s forgotten left-back Neil Taylor is wanted by both Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers and two sides from Turkey, according to The Sun.

The 32-year-old is out of contract this summer and reports have started to emerge that there is plenty of interested parties who want to take the experienced defender on. Both Stoke and QPR have been credited with an interest and Istanbul Basaksehir and Trabzonspor from Turkey are also interested observers.

The Welsh international has only managed one start for Villa this season and only 14 last campaign after Matt Targett was brought in to eventually replace Taylor. Taylor has been at Villa for the last four years and has managed an impressive 104 appearances in that time. The 32-year-old joined Villa after impressive seasons in South Wales.

It’s no surprise that the Championship pair are on the lookout for a left-back this summer, as QPR lost Ryan Manning last summer to Swansea and have had to play Yoann Barbet there for the majority of the season. While Stoke has had Rhys Norrington-Davies on loan from Sheffield United this season and will now need competition for their only natural left-back remaining Morgan Fox, with versatile James McClean the only remaining option.

Taylor is not unknown in the Championship after dropping out of the Premier League with Swansea to join Villa in their fight for Promotion in 2017. His impressive performances in the Championship under Dean Smith earned him a return back in the Wales national team.

There have been various reports linking the 32-year-old out of Villa Park, with reports back in February linking Taylor with a move to Russia and joining Krasnodar. However, there is no surprise that Championship teams are being linked with Taylor now, he’s someone who can bring a wealth of experience to any young or unproven side.

That’s something you could say both sides may need if they’re going to take the next step in chasing them play-off places down next season. Mark Warburton may be looking for Championship experience in a fairly young side, while Michael O’Neill is known to like a mixture of both young and experienced players. Taylor could be a bargain signing this summer considering he’s a free agent.

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