According to reports from The Mirror, Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has his sights set on Port Vale’s young defender, Nathan Smith in a deal worth a reported £1.5 million.

Smith, 20, has performed exceptionally at the heart of Port Vale’s defence this season, and is currently being monitored by as many as four Premier League clubs if reports are to be believed.

The centre-back’s early season form saw him awarded League One’s young player of the month award for August, and  Smith is one of only three Port Vale players to have featured in every game so far this season.

The move may be of interest to Smith, who is from Madeley and notoriously a Stoke City fan so perhaps the chance to line up for The Potters in the Premier League could be too much to turn down.

The youngster is currently tied down to a four-year-deal at Vale, but chairman Norman Smurthwaite may feel that a sum of £1.5m will be hard to turn his nose up at.

Smurthwaite had previously gone on record to say that if the right figure was presented to him, Smith could leave Vale Park as early as January.

Speaking to BBC Radio Stoke in October, he said: “There has been interest from a Premier League level and if the right offer was made … he will leave us in January. This lad is not motivated by money, he is motivated by the craft and it would have to be the right deal for him.

“If the right opportunity did come for him then Port Vale will hopefully get a great deal of recompense.”

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