Midlands latest: Derby duo set for Sheffield United, West Brom face Premier League competition for winger

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

1) Derby lose two, but won’t bring in Spurs youngster

Derby County duo Kieron Freeman and Mason Bennett are set to sign for Sheffield United in the near future, according to reports.

Freeman has been on the Blades wishlist this summer and they have stepped up their interest since the sale of Harry Maguire provided them with the necessary funds to complete a deal.

The defender spent last season on loan at Bramall Lane where he made a good impression and he will be hoping to have a similar impact this time around.

Bennett will also join his Freeman, after moving to Blades on a loan deal. The attacker is considered one of Derby’s brightest prospects, and has recently secured a new deal at the club.

The Rams think that an offer of regular football in League One is best for his development in the short-term, though, and he will complete a temporary move to Yorkshire in the near future.

Despite the two losses, Derby will not move for Tottenham prospect Tom Carroll, though, as a club official described the rumours linking him with a move to Steve McClaren’s side as ‘odd’.

2) Aston Villa to offer Ron Vlaar new deal

Aston Villa will offer Ron Vlaar a new deal this week, amid interest from Southampton.

The Dutch defender was in excellent form at the World Cup over the summer and has seen interest in his services rise as a result, but Villa are determined to keep hold of the 29-year-old.

Vlaar only has one year left on his current deal at Villa Park and, as such, his future looks questionable, but Paul Lambert is hoping to tie him down for the foreseeable future and put an end to the speculation linking him with a move away soon.

3) West Brom to battle with Southampton for Jonathan Biabiany

West Bromwich Albion will compete with Southampton in trying to sign Jonathan Biabiany this summer.

The pacey winger has been identified as a man who can improve the squads of both the Premier League clubs and they will now do battle over his signature.

Both clubs have reportedly submitted formal offers for the 26-year-old and are waiting to hear back from his current club, Parma, as to whether they have been accepted or not.

4) Bojan scores first Stoke goal

New Stoke City recruit, Bojan, scored his first goal for the club in their pre-season friendly against Schalke last night.

The Spanish striker, brought in on loan from Barcelona by Mark Hughes, opened the scoring in the pre-season match, but the Potters still went on to lose the game 2-1.

Hughes wasn’t too concerned with the defeat and said that there was plenty of positives to take from the game – with his new striker’s goal being one of them.

"Bojan scored his first goal and took it really well,” he explained. “All in all, there were loads of positives and lots to take out of the game."

5) Max Clayton could move to Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers are to offer Max Clayton a reprieve after his trial at Sunderland was unsuccessful.

The former Crewe youngster is a free-agent this summer and has been of interest to the Premier League side, but they have not offered him a deal after seeing him in action.

Wolves are now next in line to take a look at the 19-year-old, as Kenny Jackett starts to build his squad for the upcoming Championship season.

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