Are Stoke ready with the chequebook?
With the fabled January transfer window due to open on Tuesday will Peter Coates be waiting to splash the cash?
Certainly if reports coming out of the club are anything to go by, Coates is ready to spend. Tony Pulis has already said that he has had meetings with the chairman and that they have a list of targets lined up. TP refuses to be drawn by where he feels the need to bolster the squad, instead saying that they are making a list of 'quality' players who they believe could be available, regardless of position. Certainly with the likes of Danny Pugh and Richard Cresswell, TP has played them out of their normal positions with success and believes that good players should be able to play in more than one place on the park.
The club do seem significantly better prepared than they were at the start of the season, when they seemed to be startled at the high wage demands of their key targets. This time around they already have permanent contracts done and dusted for Danny Pugh (Preston) and Leon Cort (Crystal Palace) and a loan extension has already agreed until the end of the season with Manchester United for Ryan Shawcross. Salif Diao is also now in the bag along with the recent news of Ricardo Fuller's contract extension.
Whilst it's not been confirmed if Stephen Wright and Gaby Zakuani are staying, Pulis did appear to say after the Plymouth match that all the current loan players had now been tied down into the new year.
We'd expect Clint Hill's loan to Palace to be made permanent which would reduce the fee for Cort's move in the opposite direction. Hill has had a good spell at the South London club, scoring three goals in eleven appearances and we're pleased to see him with a regular first team place after all his injury problems whilst he was in the Potteries.
So who could Stoke be on the look-out for? Certainly West Ham's Nigel Quashie continues to be linked with the Potters. Quashie was injured back in January just after joining the Hammers from West Brom but has still not made it back into first team contention this season.
Whoever we sign, you can be sure of one thing - you'll find out all about it on Vital Stoke.