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Stoke: First signing confirmed; interest in strikers; two could leave

Stoke City

Stoke: First signing confirmed; interest in strikers; two could leave

Bojan Krkic is reportedly a transfer target for Premier League newcomers Middlesborough as rumours continue to circulate regarding the Spanish forward’s future.

The former Barcelona player has found first team opportunities limited at the BET365 Stadium so far this season and a host of domestic and European clubs are monitoring developments.

Valencia and Las Palmas are thought to have already made enquiries but Middlesbrough are keen on a move as Aitor Karanka looks to boost his side’s survival hopes. The Boro have made a promising return to top-flight football and have avoided dropping into the relegation zone, but are one of the lowest scorers in the division. Bojan would provide an added goal threat and an abundance of creativity, something that Karanka is all too aware of.

Mark Hughes provided Bojan with assurances over his future earlier this week and confirmed that the diminutive forward is still part of his future plans. However, the offer of first team football could tempt the 26-year-old to move on.

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Meanwhile, the Potters have confirmed their first signing of the January transfer window after agreeing a deal with Derby County for Lee Grant.

The 33-year-old has been on loan at the BET365 Stadium since the summer and has thrived in the absence of first-choice goalkeeper Jack Butland, producing a number of outstanding performances in recent weeks.

Both Grant, Stoke and Derby were keen to agree a permanent transfer before the original deal expired on January 3rd but the two clubs were thought to be some way apart in terms of their valuation of the player. However, The Potters have a agreed a £1,500,000 fee for the goalkeeper, with a further £750,000 in add-ons.

In other news, Stoke will have to compete with reigning English champions Leicester City as they chase German striker Davie Selke.

The 21-year-old is currently contracted to high-flying German side Leipzig after a £7,000,000 move in the summer but has found first team opportunities limited. Mark Hughes has suggested this week that The Potters are in talks to bring in the forward on loan, although the club are also believed to be chasing other attacking targets.

Selke rose to prominence in 2014 when he scored six goals representing Germany at the under-19’s European Championships on his way to winning the Golden Boot and also won a Silver Medal as part of the team that competed at the Olympic games in the summer.

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Furthermore, West Ham United are set to make a move for Stoke City fullback Glen Johnson as Slaven Bilic looks to add experience and quality to his struggling back-line.

The Hammers have switched between a back-three and a back-four since the start of the season, but none of the current squad members have impressed in the right-back position as the London club have made a stuttering start to the campaign.

Johnson has been a regular starter in North Staffordshire since arriving from Liverpool on a free transfer eighteen months ago. However, the former England international has only six months remaining on his current deal and West Ham are hoping that they can tempt Stoke into cashing in on their veteran full-back before his contract expires.

Mark Hughes is unlikely to want to sell the experienced defender, mainly due to a lack of defensive options in his own crop of players, but may be persuaded if a significant bid is received and an adequate replacement could be found.

Finally, Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi has confirmed that the club have not received a bid for striker Jamie Maclaren, despite reports in Europe suggesting otherwise.

Stoke City are believed to be one of the clubs showing an interest in the 23-year-old striker, although it is likely that he is at the top of their transfer wish list.

Maclaren’s future has been thrown into question after contract talks with the Australian club stalled in recent weeks. However, Aloisi is adamant that no bid has been received for the forward and that he is keen for a new deal to be agreed this month.

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