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With Michael Keane having already been sold to Liverpool according to some media sources and with him also having been sold to Manchester United according to others, you know the football season is drawing to a close with the transfer speculation getting ready to move into overdrive.

This week has seen us linked with players who are with clubs not too far apart geographically, but some considerable distance apart in the football structure.

Earlier this week we were linked with Chester’s 20-year-old defender Sam Hughes, but there again so were a number of other clubs including Barnsley, Crystal Palace, Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea.

The central defender has come through the academy at Chester and has captained the first team there while still in his teens. He’s out of contract in the summer and is valued by the National League club at around £150,000 although any fee could be determined by a tribunal.

He told the Chester Chronicle this week: “It’s been a bit of a mad season for me. In pre-season I was getting 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there and going with some of the younger lads to places like Heswall and Marine. I was on the fringes of things but there were some injuries and I got my chance in defence and I never looked back.

“I’ve learned a lot this season and the players and the manager have been great with me. It’s been poor since the turn of the year but we have been playing with the bare bones and struggling to get by, but I’ve just tried to give my all in every single game for the club.

“I know there have been scouts there watching me, but that hasn’t added any pressure. I don’t think about stuff like that. There’s always scouts coming to games to watch various players and you can’t allow that type of thing to affect your game.”

Hughes did add: “I am still contracted to Chester, I am still a Chester player. This club has been good to me and who is to say that I won’t sign a new deal here and play my football here next season?”

The other link takes us just up the road, through the Mersey tunnel and to Liverpool where we’ve been linked. along with Stoke and Sunderland, with Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart (pictured).

The 23-year-old was signed from Tottenham three years ago but hasn’t been able to break through into the first team on a regular basis and has only made eleven appearances in that time during which he’s added a further 16 appearances in loans at Cheltenham, Burton and Swindon.

Although he made five appearances in the cup competitions this season, he’s been restricted to just four substitute appearances in the Premier League, the last of which was their 2-1 win at Chelsea in September.

That’s two and I know there are going to be a lot more although we can now cross off the name of Dale Stephens who has this week signed a new four year deal with Brighton. So much for his desire to get back to the North West.

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