Aston Villa have switched their focus towards James Chester after securing Jack Grealish to a five-year contract, The Telegraph reports.
Steve Bruce’s side have struggled for stability at the start of the new Championship season and slipped into the bottom half of the standings following Saturday’s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, although fans were handed positive news on Monday.
The club announced that 23-year-old midfield ace Jack Grealish had penned a new five-year deal at Villa Park, bringing an end to speculation on his future, and The Telegraph states the club’s next priority is to tie James Chester down.
29-year-old Chester has just over 18 months remaining on his contract and Villa are desperate to secure a deal in order to keep the core of their squad intact over the course of the coming months as they battle for promotion to the Premier League.
Since signing from West Brom in 2016, Chester has become an integral member of the squad after missing just one match in his first season at Villa Park before featuring in all 49 games last term, including the play-off matches.
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This season, Chester has been ever-present in a Villa defence that has been frail, keeping just one clean sheet in their Championship campaign, but those issues are not a reflection on his ability but instead is down to the lack of a top-quality partner as the club failed to replace John Terry.
Signing a new defender must be a priority for Villa but it would mean little if Chester’s contract situation is not resolved, as arguably sorting out his future is more important than the Grealish deal.