Stoke City Transfer Rumour: Potters Plan Cole and Woodgate Raids
Mail Online today relays quotes attributed to Stoke City chairman Peter Coates which confirm the Midlands club's interest in maligned English duo Carlton Cole and Jonathan Woodgate.
In the Potters' first two seasons in the top flight since their rise to the Premier League in 2008, the team thrived on a brand of football which relied on unnerving opponents with brute strength and scoring goals from set-pieces such as Matthew Etherington's corners and Rory Delap's huge throw-ins.
However, last season the club made it to the final of the F.A. Cup and were a whisker away from finishing in the top half of the league table by playing a more attractive passing game.
By targeting Carlton Cole, they are confirming their ambition to compete with the league's big guns by scoring more goals.
With West Ham's relegation last season, 27-year-old Cole will look for a quick return to top-flight football in order to stay in the frame for inclusion in England manager Fabio Capello's next squad.
Provided the player does not demand exorbitant wages, the Britannia Stadium could be the perfect environment to rebuild his career and reputation as one of the most powerful forwards in English football, a reputation he has built up during a productive spell with Chelsea which catapulted him into international fame,
A move for former Leeds United, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur defender Jonathan Woodgate is more risky.
Woodgate, 31, has enjoyed notable highs in his career: eight England appearances, a £13 million move to Real Madrid and a Carling Cup final winner for Spurs against Chelsea.
However, he has managed just 31 matches in three seasons at White Hart Lane and has just been released by the club due to chronic, recurring injuries to his legs.
If the Potters can convince Cole to take a pay cut and Woodgate to accept a pas-as-you-pay contract, they could entice both to join the club.
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