Stoke leading the race for Chelsea’s forgotten man Lewis Baker

Stoke are leading the race for Chelsea’s forgotten man Lewis Baker.

The midfielder could leave Stamford Bridge on a free transfer this month, the PA news agency understands.

His contract expires at the end of the season but the Potters are keen to add Baker to their squad in the January transfer window as they fight for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.

Baker made his first appearance for Chelsea in eight years when he came on as a second-half substitute in Saturday’s 5-1 FA Cup win over Chesterfield.

It was just the 26-year-old academy product’s second game for the Blues, with his debut also coming in the FA Cup against Derby in 2014.

The former England Under-21 international was close to making the squad for the 2-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final win at Brentford last month but tested positive for Covid-19.

Since making his Chelsea debut he has had loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday, MK Dons, Vitesse, Middlesbrough, Leeds, Reading, Fortuna Dusseldorf and he spent last season at Trabzonspor in Turkey.

Stoke are eighth in the Championship, five points off the top six with two games in hand.