Writer: Charlie Bennett
Date:Saturday July 11 2009
Rennes midfielder Stephane M`Bia was at the Britannia Stadium yesterday holding talks with club officials about a possible big money move to the Potters. The 23 year old Cameroon international will reportedly cost Tony Pulis between £6m and £12m, a deal which will shatter their current transfer record.
M'Bia has repeatedly told press that the current French champions Marseilles is his preferred destination but after both teams agreed a fee of around £10m, the move broke down as M'Bia's wage demands were too high. This has alerted both Stoke and their premier league rivals Everton as both sides are looking to snap him up quickly.
At 6 foot 2 inches M'Bia is a versatile central defensive midfielder, he has made over 120 appearances for his club, Rennes, scoring 7 times. At international level Stephane has 12 caps to his name since his 2005 debut and has netted on 3 occasions.
If Tony Pulis manages to secure his services he will follow highly regarded youngsters Matthew Lund and Ben Marshall into the club and become our third signing of the summer. Looking at him on paper, without having seen him play, he should complement Glenn Whelan well in the heart of the Stoke midfield.
So M`Bia looks a quality player who would fit right in to the teams style of play, he would join the likes of Abdoulaye Faye, Sonko, Olofinjana, Diao and Amdy Faye to become the club's 6th African born player.
Although a deal is far from done all we can say now is watch this space........
Date:Saturday July 11 2009
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