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By ESPN Staff

Stoke City confirm talks over Carew loan

Stoke have held talks with Aston Villa striker John Carew, according to assistant manager Dave Kemp.

• Live Transfer blog

Carew 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 much this season, while his relationship with Houllier has been strained, with the pair exchanging words in the press last year.

The Norway international called Houllier 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 Roberto di Matteo also confirming his interest on Thursday.

Di Matteo said: "They (Villa) know of our interest (in Carew). But obviously it has been a bit hectic there the last couple of days (with the Bent signing).

"We have a few other options as well that we are pushing forward with.''

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