Writer: Ryan Kalisz
Date:Sunday January 16 2011
Stokes interest in Middlesbrough defender David Wheater has been given a boost today after reports that Bolton of gone off him.
Bolton were in the list of clubs interested, along with Everton and Wolves, however the Trotters have removed themselves from the race to sign the 23-year-old.
Owen 'legs' Coyle decided not to further pursue his interest in Wheater as Boro were demanding, what they thought to be, too much for the npower Championship defender. The price tag is £2.5million up front with the fee rising to £4million due to a number a clauses.
Coyle is apparently unwilling to match Middlesbrough's valuation, especially as Wheater's contract is due to expire at the end of the season, which would make him a freebie for clubs to snap up in the summer.
Tony Pulis may be encouraged by this to make a swoop for him soon. Coates certainly has proved he will back Pulis financially with the recent offer of £6.9million for Demba Ba. Although the deal disappointingly fell through, Pulis has publicly thanked Peter and the Coates family for their continuous support of the club.
Pulis said: 'It says a great deal about the Coates family and what they are prepared to do for this club. They have been fantastic not just for the club but for the area. Without them this club would not be where it is.'
Pulis likes to bring in a couple of players during the January Transfer Window to 'freshen things up a bit' but is not one to buy for the sake of it. Both Pulis and Coates have a plan for Stoke and how to keep competing in the league. Tony added: 'The chairman and his family know what we have got try and achieve. We have a three-year plan of staying in the Premier League. If we stay up this season we will try to integrate our ideas and hopefully progress further. If we can do that, who knows what might happen?'
But the question thats on everybody's mind is whether Wheater is part of the plan? One that's on my mind is do we actually need another defender adding to the already strong defence we have? Well if Abdoulaye Faye leaves then there's a place to be filled but he hasn't gone anywhere yet. So is that on the cards? Who knows?
Date:Sunday January 16 2011
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