Filed: Thursday, 14th July 2011
By: Staff Writer
Carlton Cole has rejected the opportunity to join Stoke City, according to reports.
The Guardian say tonight that the West Ham and England striker has turned down the opportunity to join the Potters despite a fee having been agreed between the two clubs last week.
With West Ham having accepted Stoke's second improved offer - said to be worth £4.5million plus add-ons - Cole was given the opportunity to discuss terms with the Premier League club prior to United's trip to Switzerland.
It was subsequently widely reported that the deal was virtually sealed - with at least one national tabloid falsely claiming that Cole had been due in Stoke for a medical last Friday.
However as KUMB.com revealed, the 27-year-old was instead on his way to Switzerland with the rest of West Ham's first team squad.
Cole has made it clear in recent weeks that his preference is to remain at West Ham, despite both David Gold and David Sullivan's insistance that it would be 'unfair' to force the club's English internationals to play in the Championship.
And having played for West Ham in the 2-1 defeat against Basel last night - albeit for only the final quarter-of-an-hour - the writing was already on the wall.
Cole is the latest in a long line of West Ham players to be linked with Stoke City in recent years - although only one, Matthew Etherington, has made the switch from the Boleyn to the Britannia.
Dean Ashton, Mark Noble, Radoslav Kovac, Demba Ba and Matthew Upson have all failed to follow the fleet-footed winger up the M1 despite having been courted by City.
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by Steve Paxman
06:54AM 15th Jul 2011
''He failed to score the goals that may have kept us in the Premier League, I doubt he will score enough to get us promoted. Let him go and try some new blood.''
by Peter Kneecap
10:19PM 14th Jul 2011
''Does that mean we can tell Eider to naff off?''