Are Stoke planning a bid for Carlton Cole?
Carlton Cole's name has been bandied around the rumour mill for a few weeks now, but the rumour seems to be gaining some credibility.
Several tabloids are now suggesting that we're talking about pushing the boat out (and our transfer record) with a £12m bid for the Hammers' striker.
It's also being said that we're trying to offload (if that's the right word) Dave Kitson in return in a player and cash deal. It's no secret that both club and player are keen to part company and it's fair to say that Kitson has never made it at the Brit after the player admitted to 'personal problems' last season and then never managed to adjust to Tony Pulis's style of play.
After the recent takeover at Upton Park, the new owners are keen to cut costs and have said that everyone is potentially for sale 'except Scott Parker'. Players like Cole are going to be in demand this summer and Stoke are very keen to add to their strike force with Kitson, Beattie and even Tuncay possibly on their way out of the Brit.
It remains to be seen if £12m is enough to tempt West Ham into letting him move north, or whether Peter Coates is going to have to dig deeper into those Bet365 pockets.