Tough tackling Sunderland midfielder still in demand, while England Under-21 star's future uncertain.
Mark Hughes has returned to Sunderland with a firm offer for Lee Cattermole, their tenacious former captain.
And despite a souring of relationships between the two sides, there are conflicting reports as to whether Sunderland have or have not accepted the offer, reported to be as much as £5 million, with the player waiting to discuss a move south.
It comes just days after Gus Poyet expressed disappointment at the Potters' alleged transfer tactics with regards to their pursuit of Cattermole and striker Steven Fletcher.
Mark Hughes will now have to wait to persuade the midfielder to leave his native North East, as well as a possible Wembley appearance in next month's League Cup final, to join the former Wales manager's Stoke development.
Earlier in the day, assistant manager Mark Bowen had been discussing their interest in the former Middlesbrough player, saying: "Lee is a player we've admired for a while, and it's a transfer we're trying to get over the line.
"It has been well documented that there have been offers, but it is notoriously difficult to get deals done at this time of the year. But you are always confident when you approach a club for a player."
Tom Ince's future remains shrouded in mystery, as an expected loan move to Crystal Palace has been complicated by Stoke offering Blackpool a sizeable permanent transfer fee.
The London club had offered a £1 million loan fee for the player who would then have moved on to whichever club he wishes once that loan, and his Blackpool contract expired in the summer.
The Seasiders have unsurprisingly accepted Stoke's multi-million pound offer ahead of Palace's, and there are rumours that unless another club matches's Stoke offer, that is the only possible move they will sanction.
This reportedly goes against Ince's wishes, with the youngster keen on the freedom and financial benefits a loan then free transfer option would offer his career. With the winger waiting in London for updates from his parent club, we may not know where he will wind up until after the deadline.
image: © vagueonthehow