Stoke City's Glenn Whelan
It’s testament to Glenn Whelan’s longevity and consistency that, at the age of 33, he has two of the Championship’s most ambitious clubs scrapping it out for his services.
The Daily Mail report that Premier League Stoke City, where Whelan has plied his trade since 2007, have rejected an opening £500,000 bid from Aston Villa. They will not consider offers lower than a cool £1 million.
And the report adds that Derby County will provide competition with manager Gary Rowett an admirer of the defensive qualities the Republic of Ireland international would bring to Pride Park.
The midfielder, who played 38 games for club and country last season, would bring plenty of experience, leadership and hard work to whichever side stumps up enough money to sign him this summer.
And that, at the moment, looks likely to be Derby County.
The Telegraph claimed that Financial Fair Play restrictions mean Villa’s spending will be limited this summer, meaning the club will not be able to pay big money like last season.
As such, they will have to sell before they buy. But, with no offers as yet coming in for the likes of Ross McCormack, Aaron Tshibola and Tommy Elphick, Villa may be forced to wait before they can double their bid for Whelan.
Wheels in motion
However, Carles Gil is set to start a bidding war between Real Betis and La Liga rivals Deportivo, where he spent last season on loan. And the Birmingham Mail adds that highly-rated left-back Jordan Amavi, arguably the club’s most valuable asset, has been placed on the transfer list after making clear that he wanted to leave.
Aston Villa's Jordan Amavi
Therefore, with the wheels in motion, Derby must act fast before Villa can afford to rival them for Whelan.