The summer transfer window is upon us. Even if every medium from Thai betting news sites to sports channels around the world is now filled with news about the ongoing European Championship – that’s turning out to be filled with drama and surprises – we shouldn’t forget that the squads of our favourite teams for at least half a season are also decided in the coming weeks. As such, there is a lot of speculation going on about which player goes where during the summer transfer window. Today, let’s look at the players who are most strongly rumoured to join Stoke City this year.
Windass joined Sheffield Wednesday last year after a brief loan spell from Wigan but he already appears to be on his way out of Hillsborough Stadium – and a Championship club. The player is linked with several teams already, including Stoke City, Middlesbrough, and Cardiff, with the late addition of Birmingham City that has reportedly inquired about his availability.
Ali McCann would be a great addition to Stoke’s squad, and the team is reportedly trying to raise the money to sign him – but there are competitors to defeat in this race for him. The St Johnstone midfielder is reportedly courted by the Potters’ Championship rivals Hull City and Swansea City, not to mention Scottish Premiership side Celtic.
O’Neill knows McCann since his time as Northern Ireland’s manager and reportedly keeps tabs on his progress ever since. His addition to the Potters’ squad would likely be most welcome.
29-year-old right-back Stephen O’Donnell has attracted the attention of several Championship teams – Stoke included. The news about his brand new two-year contract with Motherwell was likely a disappointment for them. But all hope is not lost, as – according to the Daily Mail – his exit clause is ‘modest’, so the interest in his signing is still very much alive.
O’Donnell had a disappointing performance in Scotland’s match against Czechia but rebounded spectacularly in the team’s game against England, producing outstanding performance and stealing the show.
A tight budget
Very few football teams in England – and around the world – can afford to venture into spectacular signings this year, mostly due to the bad year we had in 2020 that seriously harmed the teams’ bottom line across the board. Stoke has signed two players so far in this year’s summer transfer window, one of them (Wilmot) for a fee of around £1.5 million, the other as a free agent. Michael O’Neill says that these cautious investments will remain for at least a couple of transfer windows. “We’re not in a position when we’re going to be able to go and spend £5m on a midfield player, for example, who is 26 years of age. We’re not in a position to do that and we haven’t been able to do that since I came to the club. That’s not going to change in the next window or couple of windows.”