Three players for Stoke City to chase on Deadline Day

Stoke Britannia Stadium

Fulham, Blackpool and Inter stars could all be on their way to the Britannia, but will all, some, or none of them make the move?

Heading into the last few hours of the January transfer window, we consider three players that could, and perhaps Stoke fans will be hoping should, make the move to join the Potters.

Darren Bent

Former England striker Darren Bent has struggled on loan at Fulham from Aston Villa this year, with many of his 23 appearances for the Londoners coming from the bench, despite turning out for a team struggling to find the back of the net.

After a difficult season for Villa last year as well, the ex-Sunderland and Spurs man's star is somewhat on the wane. But at 29, he should still have at least one more chance to salvage his Premier League career, and the key thing for the striker will be turning out regularly for a team that will have mid table ambitions, rather than just desperately trying to stay up.  

Stoke manager Mark Hughes, himself a top class forward of course, is reported to be considering adding Bent to his ever changing forward line, which has already been swelled by the recent arrivals of John Guidetti and Peter Odemwingie. 

Bent has netted just 11 times in the last two seasons, with 5 for Fulham this year, but boasting a stronger goalscoring history than any of the new recruits may see the interest become firmer as Friday wears on.

Tom Ince

Tuesday, when Ince was pictured with his father at Stoke's Clayton Wood training ground, seems a long time ago heading into Deadline Friday. Then, with visual evidence of the Blackpool winger on Stoke soil, it seemed like the Potters were odds on to pull off a sensational coup and capture one of England's most promising young players.

However since that report, half the league have come back onto the scene with their interest, for a player who had already been courted by a whole batch of clubs over the last 18 months.

Where he ends up is anything short of certain, despite media reports on Thursday of an impending switch to join former Stoke boss Tony Pulis at Crystal Palace. 

But transfer deadline day is never straight forward, and Hughes will be hoping his friendship with Ince's father Paul may count for something if he can guarantee the winger a regular starting birth for   the club.

Whoever Ince joins it will be on loan from Blackpool for what will see out the final few months of his contract. The England under-21 star will then be able to move on a free to whichever club he sees fit.

Mauro Icardi

Like Ince, the demand for Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi has increased since he was first linked to Stoke last week.

The 20-year-old Argentine, whose appearances for Inter this year have been hampered by a couple of injuries, had been chased by Stoke earlier in the window before an apparent rebuffing from the Italian giants for the youngster.

And now there are new reports that Monaco have taken an interest in the forward, as the mega rich Ligue 1 side look to bring in someone to replace their injured superstar Radamel Falcao. Subsequent rumours that that bid has also been rejected leaves the fate of the striker very much up in the air, and with the window still open, Stoke may decide to move again to try and bring in an attacker with plenty of promise.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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