Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Tuesday January 6 2009
Are Stoke City about to make their first signing of the January transfer window?
With the transfer window now six days old and Tony Pulis adamant that it is 'vital' that the Potters improve the squad during January, we may be about to splash the cash for, hopefully, the first time.
Stoke are one of the few Premier League clubs who stated several weeks ago that they had the money and were ready to spend and that has certainly stirred up the rumour mill.
Top of the current list is West Ham midfielder, Matthew Etherington who is reported to be finalising terms with the Potters.
The 27 year old was dogged by injuries at the end of last season and is signed up at Upton Park until 2012 but has failed to make an impact this season with just nine outings under new Hammers' boss, Gianfranco Zola but has got two goals in the process. A left sided winger would be an extremely useful addition to Stoke's arsenal and may even help to give us the option of a Plan B in the coming months.
Marlon Harewood is one that has been linked with the Potters for a year now, but the striker has preferred a fringe role at Aston Villa rather than play regular first team football. But he may now find that his boss, Martin O'Neill, would rather he was off the payroll as he is reported to looking to raise some cash bring in Heskey from Wigan. Stoke fans will certainly have mixed views on Harewood's usefulness after so long on the sidelines but how choosy can we afford to be?
One player that we have no doubt that we are casting an eye over is Lamine Diatta. The Senegal midfielder is on trial at Stoke this week after leaving Newcastle in the summer. If the 33 year old impresses Tony Pulis he could be offered a short term contract at the Brit.
Date:Tuesday January 6 2009
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