Midlands latest: Leicester given boost in striker hunt; WBA want Championship ace

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

1) Leicester City given boost in Leonardo Ulloa chase

Leicester City have been given hope in their pursuit of Brighton & Hove Albion striker Leonardo Ulloa.

The Foxes have been on the trail of the striker for most of the summer, but it appeared that he was set to stay with the Championship club, with Brighton demanding a high price for the 27-year-old.

However, reports suggest that Ulloa is going to try to force a move to Leicester himself by telling new Brighton boss Sami Hyypia that he wants to switch to the Premier League.

2) Oussama Assaidi too expensive for Stoke

Stoke City are being priced out of a move for Oussama Assaidi, according to their chief executive, Tony Scholes.

Assaidi spent last season on loan at the Britannia Stadium and manager Mark Hughes was keen to make his transfer a permanent one this summer.

The 25-year-old's current club, Liverpool, are demanding a price that is beyond the Potters' valuation of the winger, though, and it is creating a stumbling block in the deal.

“Everything points to it being a good match for both the club and the player," Scholes told the BBC.

"But, at the moment, the prices we are being quoted are just wrong. As the chairman and the manager have already said, he's a player we like. He did very well last year and settled in."

3) Aston Villa relying on Darren Bent sale for funds

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is hoping that he can sell Darren Bent to raise funds to enable him to sign some of his top targets this summer.

Bent has been linked with a move to Turkey in recent weeks, with Trabzonspor and Fenerbahce both linked.

If they do turn their interest into a concrete offer, then the Villa boss intends to use some of the revenue gained from his departure to bring in some much needed quality at Villa Park.

So far this transfer window, Villa have had to bring in free agents due to a limited transfer budget, and they have had to give up on the likes of Lewis Holtby and Javier Hernandez as a result.

4) West Brom looking to sign Aaron Cresswell

West Bromwich Albion are aiming to complete a deal for Ipswich Town left-back Aaron Cresswell ahead of the upcoming Premier League season, according to the Express and Star.

Cresswell has established a reputation as one of the Football League’s finest stars, and the Baggies are now looking to provide a platform for him to test himself at the highest level.

Cresswell is an attacking full-back, who possesses a great ability to deliver crosses from wide positions, and he is likely to cost Alan Irvine’s side a considerable amount of money if they are to sign him, with the Tractor Boys keen to keep hold of him.

5) Brighton still some way off concluding a deal for Stephen Ward

Stephen Ward’s wage demands are proving problematic for Brighton, who are hoping to tie up a deal to bring the defender to the club on a permanent basis.

Ward spent last season on loan at the AMEX Stadium, and the Seagulls are hoping to make it a permanent move this summer.

However, Ward is demanding £13,000 a week to join Sami Hyypia’s men and Brighton will not stretch to that amount.

It has led to Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Kenny Jackett admitting that a conclusion to the deal is still some way off.

“Nothing has been agreed so there’s enough of a distance for a deal not to have been done yet,” the Wolves boss told the Express and Star.

“But at least there has been some contact. They’ve expressed an interest through the summer. Stephen had a good year last season and I’m sure he’ll be looking to build on it. He’s said publicly he’d like to stay at Brighton. I’ll see him next week and talk to him.”

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