Fleetwood line up Stoke defender Souttar

Harry Souttar of Stoke City looks on during the pre-season friendly match between Crewe Alexandra and Stoke City at The Alexandra Stadium on July 30, 2017 in Crewe, England.

HITC Sport understands Stoke City defender Harry Souttar is being lined up for a loan move to Fleetwood.

Harry Souttar of Stoke City looks on during the pre-season friendly match between Crewe Alexandra and Stoke City at The Alexandra Stadium on July 30, 2017 in Crewe, England.

Highly-rated Stoke City defender Harry Souttar is set for a loan move to League One Fleetwood Town, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club.

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton is looking to bolster his side's defensive options before the close of the transfer and he has identified Souttar as a top target.

 

Fleetwood are seeking defensive reinforcements after selling Cian Bolger to Lincoln City earlier this month and 6ft 7in defender Souttar would be an ideal replacement for Bolger.

Souttar is well down the pecking order at Stoke and he has yet to feature in the Championship this season, with his only first-team appearance coming in the EFL Cup against Nottingham Forest in September.

Harry Souttar of Stoke during the Checkatrade Trophy Northern Group A match between Sunderland and Stoke City U21 at Stadium of Light on September 4, 2018 in Sunderland, United Kingdom.Harry Souttar in action for Stoke

The recent arrival of Danny Batth from Wolves has further increased competition for places in defence and Stoke boss Nathan Jones is willing to send Souttar out on loan for the second half of the season.

Souttar had a spell out on loan at Ross County in the second half of last season and he made 13 appearances during his time at the Scottish outfit.

Stoke feel Souttar would benefit by going out on loan again to continue his development, before returning to challenge for a place in the Potters' first-team next season.

Joey Barton head coach

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