Midlands latest: Forest close in on former Chelsea ace; Baggies reject increased offer for defender

We bring you the latest news from West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Derby County

1) West Brom reject second Burnley bid for Craig Dawson

West Bromwich Albion have turned down a second bid from Premier League newboys Burnley for Craig Dawson.

The Baggies centre-back has handed in a transfer request and is known to see his future away from the Hawthorns, but Alan Irvine is still hoping to keep Dawson as part of his first team squad.

Burnley appear the most likely suitors for the England under 21 international if he is to leave, but their current offer has been described as ‘derisory’ by WBA.

The bid was thought to have been around the £1.5 million mark, but Baggies are seemingly holding on for far more than that and it remains to be seen whether Burnley will test their luck for a third time.

2) Leicester City offer Jamie Vardy a new contract

Leicester City have offered Jamie Vardy a new four-year-deal and they expect him to sign in within the next few days.

Talks between the club and the striker, who was in fine form last season, have been positive and it is thought that Vardy will commit his future to the recently promoted Premier League side in the near future.

This season will cap off an unbelieveable rise for Vardy, which has seen him move from the non-league to the top level of English football in just two years.

3) Jores Okore looking forward to Ron Vlaar’s return

Aston Villa centre-back Jores Okore is hoping to form a solid partnership with Ron Vlaar, at the heart of Villa’s defence next season.

Vlaar has recently returned from the World Cup, where he was one of Holland’s stars and he has been linked with a move away from the Midlands, with Roma reportedly interested.

However, Okore is hoping that Villa will keep hold of the 29-year-old and he is aiming to create a formidable pairing with the no-nonsense defender.

“I am looking forward to him coming back - and playing with him will be amazing,” he said to the Express and Star.

“I am really glad for him. I hope he can bring us some of that back to us and help us perform like he did throughout the summer.

"I was really happy that Ron got that far - to the semi-finals of the World Cup. I had hoped he would get to the final but he was unlucky. Through the whole tournament, he showed what he can do.

4) Nottingham Forest close to Michael Mancienne signing

Nottingham Forest are closing in on a deal to bring Hamburg defender Michael Mancienne to the City Ground.

The transfer, which is worth around £1 million, would create a reunion between Mancienne and Forest boss Stuart Pearce, with the pair working together when Pearce was in charge of the England U21’s.

The former Chelsea youngster has played in Germany since 2011, but is expected to come back to England this summer and it appears that it could be with the Championship hopefuls.

5) Derby reject Keiron Freeman offer

Derby County have turned down a bid from Sheffield United for Keiron Freeman.

Freeman spent last season on loan at Brammall Lane and Nigel Clough is hoping to make his transfer a permanent one this summer, but he will have to up his offer if he is to land the 22-year-old.

The likes of Leeds United, Peterborough United and Doncaster Rovers are also competing for the defender’s signature, so Blades may have to move sooner rather than later if they want to jump the front of the queue for Freeman’s signature.

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