Update Emerges In Cheltenham Town’s Battle For Championship Defender

League Two side MK Dons are not interested in signing Cheltenham Town and Salford City target Matt Baker, reports the Milton Keynes Citizen.

It was reported last week that Cheltenham are in a race for the 20-year-old with the League Two duo, as the young defender is set for a loan move away from Stoke City this summer.

However, it is now believed that Graham Alexander’s side are out of the race for the Welshman, who has signed a contract extension at the bet365 Stadium.

The centre-back played alongside another of the Don’s new signings, Cameron Norman, at Newport County last season, spending the second half of the season on loan from the Potters.

Although the heart of the defence is a position the Buckinghamshire-based outfit will look to strengthen ahead of the new season, MK Dons have turned their attentions to other targets, which could include New Zealand international Tommy Smith, who was part of their training camp in Germany following his release from Colchester United.

A product of the Gillingham academy, before a move to Staffordshire in 2021, Baker made his Football League debut whilst on loan for the Exiles last season, appearing 18 times as Newport finished 15th in League Two.

Now only two clubs remain in the hunt for his signature, with Football Insider’s Pete O’Rourke reporting Stoke are keen to send the Welsh U21 international as high up the pyramid as possible, in order to continue his development.

Cheltenham are in the market for a centre-back following the loan expiry of defender Caleb Taylor, who has since returned to West Bromwich Albion.

Writer’s View

With Stoke keen on sending the versatile defender, who can also operate as a defensive midfielder, as high up the leagues as possible, it seems even more likely that Cheltenham have found their new centre-back for the season, now that MK Dons have dropped out of the race.

A new contract suggests Alex Neil sees Baker as one for the future, and having already played at the highest youth level for Wales, he could be a really important addition as the Robins look to establish themselves in League One.







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