Midlands latest: Stoke back in for French youth-international; Wolves aiming for promotion once again

M'baye Niang

We bring you the latest news from Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City.

1) Stoke City re-enter the race for M’Baye Niang

Reports in Italy suggest that Stoke City have rekindled their interest in AC Milan starlet M’Baye Niang.

Stoke had been linked with making a move for the 19-year-old earlier in the transfer-window, but no concrete bid was made.

Now, however, it appears the Potters have stepped up their interest and are prepared to do battle with West Bromwich Albion and Olympiacos to sign the tricky winger.

2) West Brom reject Craig Dawson transfer reject

Highly-rated West Bromwich Albion prospect, Craig Dawson, has had a transfer request rejected by the club, reports suggest.

Dawson has attracted interest from Burnley this summer and is determined to force a move to the newly promoted Premier League club.

Sean Dyche’s side had a £1 million offer rejected earlier in the summer for the England youth international, but they look likely to step up their interest after today’s news – regardless of Albion’s reluctance to let Dawson leave.

It continues a worrying trend of Baggies hopefuls wanting to leave, with George Thorne also expressing his desire to join Derby County recently.

3) Danny Drinkwater hails Leicester signings

Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater is pleased with the business the club have already done during the transfer window so far.

The former Manchester United man recently signed a new deal at the Foxes and he is optimistic for the future of the club, especially after the signings of Marc Albrighton, Matt Upson and Ben Hamer.

Leicester were promoted to the Premier League last season, and Drinkwater insists that his side are ready for the step-up.

“The club's making positive steps already,” he told Leicester’s official site. “Marc Albrighton has played a lot of games for Villa in the Premier League, Matt Upson has got a massive amount of experience and Ben Hamer has proved himself at a good level too.

“Things are shaping up well and we’re definitely looking to the future.

"We played Premier League sides last season. They were cup games, but they still had massive quality in their squads. It wasn’t a bad benchmark, so it’s given us an idea of what’s coming, but we’ll be ready.”

4) Kenny Jackett expects an exciting season for Wolves

Kenny Jackett has backed his Wolverhampton Wanderers side to excite the club’s supporters in the upcoming season.

Wolves won League One in style last season and have been tipped to do well again this campaign, in the Championship, by many pundits.

Jackett certainly supports this view, believing that his side are well equipped to launch a challenge for back-to-back promotions.

“There are some tough games but it is exciting times and an exciting season for Wolves,” he told the Birmingham Mail.

“It was a great year [last season] and for two-thirds of the year it was so close. It was really only the final stretch where we got a great points total and pulled away. In a very competitive league the top five clubs in League One last year all did very, very well.

“We go into the Championship now with an expectation, as most Championship clubs have, to try to do your best and to see if you can be one of the three clubs next May that get into the Premier League.”

5) Bristol City beat Birmingham City to signing of Mark Little

Bristol City have announced the signing of Mark Little today, beating Birmingham City and Charlton Athletic to his signature.

Blues have already been very active in this transfer window, but Lee Clark had hoped to bring the right-back to St Andrews to further add to his squad.

Little’s contract expired at Peterborough United last season, with the 25-year-old choosing not to renew his deal at Posh in the hope of Championship football.

However, after the offers were made, he has stuck with League One and he will be hoping to show all of his qualities at Ashton Gate.

Little is an attacking right-back, who will offer full commitment to the side, but there is always a worry about his defensive abilities, with his positioning often questionable.

That said, he was arguably Posh’s best player last season – even with Britt Assombalonga taking most of the headlines – and he will be hoping to carry that form into the new season, as he looks to impress the Robins supporters.

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