Stoke closing in on Carew
Stoke have held talks with Aston Villa striker John Carew, according to assistant manager Dave Kemp.
The 31-year-old Norway frontman is out of contract at Villa Park at the end of the season, and his future under manager Gerard Houllier is in doubt following the arrival of record signing Darren Bent.
"He's a very good player and one we would be interested in," Kemp said.
Carew joined Villa from Lyon in 2007, and was a key member of their side under former manager Martin O'Neill.
But injury has prevented him from playing too big a part this season, while his relationship with Houllier has been strained, with the pair exchanging words in the press last year.
Carew called the Frenchman disrespectful after he was challenged to earn a new contract, with Houllier responding by calling the former Valencia man "stupid" and telling him to stop "living in the past".
A number of other clubs such as Birmingham and West Brom have been linked with Carew, with Baggies assistant manager Eddie Newton last week declaring his interest.
He said at the time: "We are interested in Carew, there is no doubt about that.
"It's no secret and we will see where that goes from here."
Despite falling out of favour under Houllier, Carew was a surprise starter in the midlands derby with Birmingham last weekend.
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