Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Sunday May 18 2008
The rumours as who could be coming in and who could be going have started and we'll hope to keep you up to date with a selection of some of the more plausible ones here at Vital Stoke throughout the summer.
Here's our starter for ten:
Patrik Berger (Aston Villa) has been released by Villa following yet another falling out with Martin O'Neill. It was a disagreement with the Villa boss that created the opportunity for his loan spell at Stoke back at the start of 2007, he made seven appearances for the Potters and would no doubt like another crack at the Prem but he's now 34, so does his age count against him?
Leroy Lita (Reading) seems likely to be on his way from the Thames Valley club following their relegation to the Championship and spent the last couple of months on loan at Charlton. Bristol City are also rumoured to be after him should they get promoted in next week's Play-Off Final against Hull.
Rafael Schmitz (Lille) spent time at Birmingham City on loan this season and the Brazilian defender may be on a season long loan at the Brit next time round.
There's no doubt that there will be players leaving the Brit this summer to make way for players that can hopefully keep us in the top flight. Among them could be:
Dominic Matteo has been beset by injury this time around following a loan spell last season, but was named club captain after signing a one year contract at the start of the season. We wouldn't have thought it likely he would stay but there are rumours that Pulis would like to keep him on as he admires the backroom work he has put in as captain.
Mamady Sidibe has been a popular and vital member of the squad but has only contributed four goals all season. Who could ever forget the most important two he scored against Bristol City in the final run-in? Many fans, though, don't think he's got the quality for the Prem and the fact that his agent has been publicly calling for Big Mama to be offered a contract extension could mean that the management aren't so sure either. It's rumoured that Cardiff are among the Championship clubs that seem to be circling around Sidibe and it's quite possible that he may have played his last game for the Potters.
Date:Sunday May 18 2008
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