1) Haris Seferovic on West Brom wishlist
Switzerland international forward Haris Seferovic is being lined up a potential addition for West Bromwich Albion, according to reports.
Seferovic, who scored in his nation’s World Cup campaign over the summer, is high on Alan Irvine’s list of potential targets as he looks to add quality to his squad ahead of the new season.
The striker, who currently plays for Real Sociedad, has found first-team chances in La Liga tough due to the form of Carlos Vela and it is thought that he could be available this summer.
Seferovic is tall and powerful and it may be hoped that he could form an effective partnership with the pacey Ideye Brown in attack for West Brom.
Part of the funding for the transfer could be raised from the sale of Craig Dawson. The defender has been the subject of a third bid from Burnley today, but it remains to be seen whether West Brom will accept or reject the seven figure offer.
2) Hughes knows how to get the best out of Bojan
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says that making Bojan feel loved can get the very best out of him.
The Spaniard was once considered one the finest prospects to come off the reputed La Masia production line in recent times, but his career has faltered and Hughes hopes to get him back on track.
He has joined Stoke for a season and it is hoped that a player of his talent can push the Potters on to the next level.
Bojan has already opened his Stoke scoring account, after notching in the club’s pre-season friendly against Schalke and Hughes believes that if they continue to show him the affection they are then he will be at his very best this campaign.
"You can see his ability, you can see he's played at the top level," Hughes said.
"He's a young man who's come to us with the attitude of wanting to get back on track and he's already shown us what he can do."
"A lot of people doubted him, but the quality is clearly there and it's just a case of bringing it out of him again."
3) Paul Lambert makes excuse for Chesterfield defeat
Paul Lambert said that the fatigue that his side have suffered as a result of their pre-season tour of the USA was the reason for their 3-1 defeat to Chesterfield last night.
Villa were beaten by the newly promoted League One side in a discouraging pre-season friendly match last night, but Lambert had an excuse prepared.
Indeed, it appears that some are suffering with tiredness more than others, with the Villa boss blaming his goalkeeper, Brad Guzan, for two of Chesterfield’s goals.
“With jet-lag it is a few days after that you feel the effects,” the Scot said.
“Brad made some mistakes. I just said to him I thought he was at fault for two goals."
“I said to him he'd better get them out of the way now. When it is for real then I am pretty sure he will be right up for it.”
4) Stephen Ward will still leave Wolves
Kenny Jackett has said that Stephen Ward will still depart Wolverhampton Wanderers this summer, despite playing a full match in the side’s pre-season win over Oxford.
Ward has been linked with a move away, but his inclusion to the starting line-up sparked rumours he could be offered a Molineux reprieve.
However, Jackett says that he still expects the versatile defender to move on this summer – with Brighton rumoured to be interested in his services.
“He came into this group and showed a good attitude but he’s looking for his next move, we all know that,” the former Millwall manager said.
“I wanted to have a look at him because he had a successful year at Brighton last season."
5) Derby may replace George Thorne from within
Steve McClaren is looking to use options already at his disposal to fill the void that George Thorne’s injury has left them with.
The highly rated youngster completed a move to Derby this summer, but has already been dealt a blow as he was ruled out for a lengthy period of time with a knee injury.
It means that Derby now have to start planning for life without him for the majority of the season, but it appears that they will replace him from within the squad rather than searching elsewhere for transfers.
Thorne has thrived in a deeper role in Derby’s midfield, where he is expected to dictate the play, and McClaren is set to try out Will Hughes and John Eustace in the role in pre-season to see if they can do an adequate of covering for their teammate's absence.
“We are willing to give these lads a go while we consider whether or not we need to look at bringing somebody else in,” first team coach, Paul Simpson, said.