Stoke City are favourites to sign Chris Brunt following contract talks, according to reports.
The 35 year old will become a free agent this summer when he is released by West Brom after 13 years at the Hawthorns.
He was close to moving to Stoke in the January transfer window. But the Express and Star says the Northern Irishman is still likely to move to the bet365 Stadium where he would link up with his former international manager Michael O’Neill.
They report that talks have taken place over a 12-month contract with an option for an extra year depending on appearances.
The paper says Blackburn are also keen but Stoke City are in pole position.
The player is settled in the Midlands and did come close to the Stoke move in the last transfer window. But that fell through when Bruno Martins Indi’s exit stalled and so all bets were off.
The manager explained the following week: “It was an option. We had explored the potential of bringing Chris in.
“It was more on the basis of potentially Bruno going out, to be honest, and when that deal didn’t materialise, we felt that we would be one player too many in that situation. That’s the nature of the transfer window.”
Speaking in February, Brunt reflected on the move to Stoke falling through.
He said: “I was gutted to be fair.
“Obviously there is an easy link there with Michael being Northern Ireland manager.
“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I enjoyed playing under Michael and the impact he had.
“He got some of the best football out of me in my career – 100 per cent internationally but definitely football wise as well.
“And the opportunity to go and work with him again would be something I would have enjoyed.
“And the chance to go from a club where everyone knows everything about me into another one where people know everything about you as well probably played the biggest part in it.”