Stoke City-linked defender Stephen O’Donnell is close to signing a new contract with Motherwell, as per a report by the Daily Record

The full-back’s current deal with the Scottish side is due to expire this summer but they are hoping to secure his services for another year at least.

O’Donnell, who is 28 years old, joined Motherwell last summer and has been a key player for them this season, playing 33 games in all competitions.

Stoke City were interested in him in the last January transfer window, as reported at the time by the Daily Record, but the Potters couldn’t strike a deal to bring him down to England.

The same publication suggested Oxford United and Dundee United wanted him last summer before he joined Motherwell on a free transfer.

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Motherwell boss Graham Alexander, formerly of Fleetwood Town and Salford City, has said: “We’re quite close (to a new deal for O’Donnell). He has been really positive. Being away with Scotland stalled it but the talks have been really encouraging. We want Stephen to stay. We’ve made it clear how important he is to us as a player and a personality.

“He is a leader and has been captain since Declan Gallagher hasn’t been in the team and has shown another side of himself in leadership.”

Read: Southampton can ‘cancel’ 25-year-old’s loan at Stoke City this summer

The Scotland international has spent the majority of his career to date in the Scottish Premiership. He has had spells at Aberdeen, Celtic, Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock in the past.

He moved down to England in 2015 and had two years playing in League Two for Luton Town. He made 72 appearances for the Hatters altogether before heading back to familiar surroundings.

O’Donnell is now close to signing a new deal with Motherwell, which will put to bed any rumours linking him with a return to the Football League anytime soon.