Championship duo Derby County and Stoke City are interested in Iceland international Birkir Bjarnason, who was released by Aston Villa over the summer.

Free agent Iceland international Birkir Bjarnason has admitted that he’s been in talks with Derby County and Stoke City about a potential return to the Championship, in quotes reported by Fotbolti.

The 31-year-old is still without a club after being released by Aston Villa following their play-off final victory against Frank Lampard’s Rams at Wembley but it seems only a matter of time before Bjarnason is back in the game.

The Mirror (29 September, page 53) reported that Stoke and Derby are both interested in signing the former Basel midfielder, who can move clubs outside of the transfer window due to his free agent status.

And Bjarnason has now confirmed that a move to Pride Park or the Potteries is on the cards.

“Yes, yes, (Stoke and Derby) have been talking but there is nothing that has been finalised,” said a veteran of 79 caps who featured at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2016.

“I’m open to everything. I’ll see what’s best for me.”

Bjarnason adds that he will likely make a decision about his future after the international break.

An energetic winger turned central midfielder, Bjarnason never really established himself as a crucial first-team player during two-and-a-half-years at Villa Park, starting just 27 Championship games under Steve Bruce and Dean Smith.

But he could be a useful addition for a struggling Stoke or a Derby side who lost plenty of experience in midfield when Craig Bryson and Bradley Johnson left over the summer.

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