The transfer window has been open for just five days and already there has been a buzz around the club. The first half of the season has outlined where most of the problems are, with one key area that needs improving is the striker role. And today, a lot of news has broke that would suggest that Hughes may be looking to fix that.
According to reports in Italy, the club are ready to splash the cash on Manolo Gabbiadini for a club record £24million fee. The striker however is in demand, with Everton, Southampton and Wolfsburg all interested in the Italian.
But, according to La Repubblica, Stoke will be willing to pay way more than their competition in order to obtain his signature, with a bid that would top our current record fee by £6m (Gianelli Imbula for £18m).
This is not the first time we have been linked with Gabbiadini. He has been a long term target of Hughes, with rumours starting just last month that the club were ready to make a bid. With Bony and Diouf out on AFCON duty, that leaves just Crouch and Walters as the clubs two strikers, so it would be a perfect time to add a fresh face.
In other news, it wouldn’t be a proper transfer window without this man being involved. According to Martin Spinks (@mspinks10) from The Sentinel, Stoke have asked West Brom for a price for Saido Berahino before making a move for the striker.
This is the third consecutive window we have been linked with the Englishman, and with just 6 months left on his contract, the fee involved continues to decrease (well we hope this time). West Brom messed us around in the summer, constantly upping their asking price before saying that Berahino would be staying with the club.
But it is clear that he is not in their plans, and that the striker does not want to be there. It’s a waste of talent having him there, which is maybe why Hughes wants to rescue the 23-year-old from his nightmare. The question is though, should we be excited about this?
Before his bust up with the West Brom board over not being able to leave a few seasons ago, Berahino was one of England’s biggest talents. Since then, he’s been in and out of the squad, and recently sent away to get back to match fitness. The talent is obviously there, but at this point, is it worth the risk?
The next rumour has not been directly linked at Stoke, but should definitely be something the club should look at. Bayer Leverkusen have today said that Javier Hernandez is available to leave, if any club is willing to pay €25m (around £21m).
Now, after the earlier news that the club are willing to pay £25m for Gabbiadini, it surely would make more sense to at least try and get a proven goalscorer in Hernandez?
In other news, Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been linked with a move to the club by The Sentinel. The midfielder has a lot of tough competition for a spot in Conte’s side, and a loan deal may be the solution. Both Stoke and West Ham are interested in the youngster, whilst Championship leaders Brighton are also interested.
Finally, the Daily Star have reported that Burnley have blocked moves from Stoke and West Brom for defender James Tarkowski. The centre-back is currently not in his manager first team plans, but with Michael Keane being chased by champions Leicester, Tarkowski may be called upon soon.