Port Vale eye up former Stoke City defender Carl Dickinson
PORT Vale are believed to be in the hunt for former Stoke City defender Carl Dickinson.
Micky Adams is understood to have inquired about making the 25-year-old left-back the latest addition to his squad following the recent arrival of Chris Birchall, Darren Purse and Lee Hughes at Vale Park.
But the Valiants face competition for his signature, with a string of clubs interested in taking the defender on loan from Championship Watford, according to sources close to the player.
And whether Dickinson, who helped Stoke win promotion to the Premier League in the 2007/08 season, would be prepared to drop into League Two remains open to conjecture.
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Dickinson, who lives in Tean, started his career with the Potters and went on to make 39 starts for the club, with another 20 appearances as a substitute.
He spent loan spells at Blackpool, Leeds, Barnsley and Portsmouth before a three-year £250,000 deal took him to Vicarage Road in July 2011.
Dickinson was a virtual ever-present in the Watford team last season, but though he started the first two games of the current campaign, he has been a peripheral figure since.
He spent a month on loan with League One strugglers Portsmouth, but has featured just once from the bench since returning to his parent club on November 21.
Adams has a selection poser for tomorrow's top-of-the-table clash at Gillingham (3pm).
He must decide whether to hand debuts to Purse and Hughes, who trained with Vale for the first time yesterday.
"Lee has plenty of experience and he's someone who has scored goals in League One this season," he said.
"There's plenty of life left in him yet, and in games where we struggled to break teams down, he might be the answer.
"In terms of match fitness, he's there, but whether he's as sharp as I'd like him to be I don't know. We'll only find that out when he plays.
"Darren hasn't played a lot recently, but he has a lot of experience and that would get him through.
"He knows where to stand, when to head it, when to squeeze and hopefully do all the right things.
"I've felt at times we've lacked a bit of leadership and experience. but the boys we've brought in wont be fazed.
"Both are in the twilights of their careers and both want another promotion on their CV."
Adams said Vale would go into the game at the Priestfield with the same positive approach which has served them so well so far.
"We'll go there looking to win the game, not just sit behind the ball and nick a result," he said.
LIAM Chilvers has agreed to stay at Vale Park for the rest of the season. The 31-year-old central defender was originally signed on loan from AFC Telford until January 5.