Transfer News Round Up - Week One - Ledley, Cissé, Arango, Vasquez, Feindouno, Scholes And More

  June brings the beginning of a long summer of transfer speculation, and though typically it’s well into July before the market really gets going, there were only four deals involving Premier League clubs completed in June last year, there will undoubtedly be a large number of transfer rumours regarding players both moving in and out of Stoke over the coming weeks and months. So, I’ve decided to write a thorough weekly round up of all the transfer rumours around the club, starting with this one, covering the first week of June. It’ll be interesting to see how many of these rumours turn into done deals by the end of the transfer window on the last day of August.

Will our new signings follow in the footsteps of Beattie or Kitson?

Players In Rumours:

Birmingham’s Stephen Kelly, who has spent the last four months on loan at the Britannia Stadium could make his move to Stoke permanent this summer, with a fee of £1 million looking like being enough to take him away from the newly promoted Blues should we decide that he would be a worthwhile addition to our squad.

Twenty year old Manchester City and Wales striker Ched Evans could also be on his way to the Potteries as we were rumoured to have bid £2 million for him.

Stoke could take the dive and bid for Evans

In one of the most remarkable stories of the window to date we were reported to be set to offer Manchester United’s veteran midfielder Paul Scholes a player-coach role at the club, as his worth to the Old Trafford club is dwindling as he ages, and the player looking for a route into coaching. Bolton were also reportedly interested, before Stoke Chairman Peter Coates moved fast to dismiss the rumour as pure speculation.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis is also reportedly interested in the young Nigerian international right-back Chibuzor Okonkwo, who currently plays for Bayelsa United in his homeland.

Meanwhile rumours are growing about a more clear-cut target for Pulis, Cardiff midfielder Joe Ledley, who remains coy about a £5 million move to the Potters.

Rather more exotically, there have been a large number of rumours circulating about us moving for Mallorca’s highly rated Venezuelan attacking midfielder Juan Arango, who is also valued at around £5 million.

Bristol Rovers star forward Rickie Lambert, who scored 29 league goals last season, is also a player reportedly on Pulis’s radar, with a £2 million bid believed to be enough to gain the services of the 27 year old, in a deal that would be something of a gamble for a Premier League club.

Manchester United’s talented youngster Fraizer Campbell is another striker linked with Stoke, with the Potters allegedly one of a number of Premier League clubs interested.

The creative Guinea international midfielder Pascal Feindouno, who currently plays for the Al-Sadd Sports Club in Qatar has also been linked with Stoke. A deal would only be possible if we are able to put our past nightmares with Guinean players behind us, as Sambegou Bangoura made Amr Zaki’s attendance record look good, though Souleymane Oulare did score a vital goal for us with his bottom, before suffering a career threatening blood clot and being arrested for being a slumlord.

Feindouno is one of many players linked with the Potters

We are also rumoured to be interested in Vitória Guimarães’s 31 year old Portugeuse international attacking midfielder Nuno Assis.

The Daily Mail has claimed that Pulis will step up his interest in Marseille’s Djibril Cissé, but also says the forward would prefer a move to Tottenham.

The same paper also links us with a surprising move for Manchester City captain Richard Dunne.

The Peruvian born Swedish Under 21 international midfielder, Andres Vasquez, who is a free agent after being released by Swiss side FC Zürich, could be on his way to Stoke after claiming that he has had an offer to join the club.

Finally, Stoke’s veteran holding midfielder Salif Diao who is out of contract at the end of this month, may choose to remain at Stoke after being offered a new one year deal, despite previously suggesting he will look elsewhere.

Players Out Rumours:

At least four players will definitely be leaving the club this summer, with Vincent Pericard, Tom Thorley, Jimmy Phillips and Marc Grocott all officially released.

Henri Camara, who was on loan from Wigan for the second half of last season, is another player who will definitely not return to the club, as the Senegalese forward failed to impress, making just four substitute appearances.

In one of the worst researched rumours to date, it has been reported online that Blackburn are trying to sign our £2 million (triple it at least) rated centre-back, the formidable Abdoulaye Faye, who we apparently signed from Charlton (only 300 miles out). Best take this one with a pinch of salt.

Bayern Munich are allegedly tracking Stoke ‘keeper Thomas Sorensen, and if reports are to be believed, they are prepared to pay up to £3 million for the Danish number one.

Stoke left-back Danny Higginbotham is reportedly a target for Ipswich, with Roy Keane, who managed him at Sunderland keen to link up with him again, though Higginbotham has quickly denied the rumours.

Andy Griffin, Stoke captain in name at least, is also set for the exit after admitting he has fallen out with Pulis.

Stoke’s 28 year old centre-midfielder Seyi Olofinjana has also been linked with a move to newly promoted Burnley.

Olofinjana - one of several Stoke players who could face the axe this summer

  As yet all these prospective deals are in something of an embryonic form, we’ll wait and see how they develop as the summer continues.

9 Responses to “Transfer News Round Up - Week One - Ledley, Cissé, Arango, Vasquez, Feindouno, Scholes And More”

  1. Steven Goran Eriksson Says:

    I wonder where you got this idea for an article … Whoever thought it up was inspired!

    Personally, and I want to sound argumentative or overly critical, but I prefer my stle of weekly news. I repeat that I don’t want to sound harsh, but I think you are a much better writer than just saying who has been linked with Stoke. You are capable of better.

    I would prefer to see more detail about less players, but maybe one man’s meat is another man’s poison?

    On the bright side, I would it if Chibuzor Okonkwo joined the Premier League. Talk about a quality name!!

  2. juandeful Says:

    Juan Arango would be an unbeleivable signing I feel (although I’m going by the youtube clips I watched when we were linked with him in January). Fraizer Campbell could also be a very good piece of business.

    Also “and I want to sound argumentative or overly critical”, just thought I’d point it out

  3. I*T*P*L Says:

    Steven - I take your point, but as I’ve explained I’m still going to write proper articles about the deals that are (looking like being) confirmed, I just think it’s a good idea to keep in touch with all the rumours and speculation as well. I imagine this sort of article would appeal more to Stoke fans though, as they would have a level of interest in reviewing our transfer links far greater than you would expect to see from a fan of another club. Also - “I wonder where you got this idea for an article … Whoever thought it up was inspired!” - how’s your season’s player ratings article coming on?

    Juandeful - I would be delighted if we could sign Arango. Not only is he a class player, he is the sort of highly regarded player that would make other transfer targets take Stoke more seriously as a potential destination. I think he’s probably slightly out of our league, but it’s very promising to be linked with players like him.

  4. Matt Jones Says:

    What a good signing Evans would be? He’s such a quality player, I hope City keep hold of him and give him a chance.

  5. Matt Jones Says:

    What a good signing Evans would be? He’s such a quality player, I hope City keep hold of him and give him a chance!

  6. Steven Goran Eriksson Says:

    Maybe Ched Evans is twice as good as you thought

    I’m sure you edited my comment, I put ‘And I don’t want to sound …’

    Anyway, the player ratings article has long since been in the offing. As much as I appreciate your vain attempts at humour and irony, in fact I had already started planning it well in advance of yours appearing

  7. mike Says:

    good post and i like the idea
    just one small thing kelly is on a bosman as hes contract is up
    but its nice to see the calibure of player tp is goin for

  8. I*T*P*L Says:

    Steven - Stop being petty, taking inspiration from one another is the best way we’ll improve our own work.

    Mike - Thanks for the comment. I’m unsure about Kelly, he joined them on a three year deal in the summer of 2006, but it was my understanding that they had the option of one more year, so Birmigham could make it difficult for us if they wanted to.

  9. I*T*P*L Says:

    I’ve looked it up now, this is from the Birmigham Mail: “Stoke’s reluctance to commit themselves either way could possibly have something to do with the financial implications of the arrangement.

    They are believed to have paid Birmingham an initial £500,000 loan fee and will have to pay out another £250,000, due to their survival in the top flight, even if they decide to send Kelly back to St Andrew’s during the summer.

    Stoke also have the option of paying the Blues £1million to sign the Dubliner permanentl,y so it appears that Kelly’s wait to see which Premier League club, if any, he will be playing for next season will continue.”

    So it sounds like it definitely wouldn’t be a free transfer.

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