Stoke City have reportedly been offered the opportunity to sign former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie from Fenerbahce, the latest Premier League club to be linked with a move for the 32-year-old Dutchman.
According to Daily Mail, meeting Van Persie’s wage demands now seems problematic for all the clubs that have taken an interest in him so far – notably Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and West Ham.
It was claimed by Turkish media outlet Milliyet earlier this month that Fenerbahce coach Vitor Pereira doesn’t want to sell Van Persie. That news came after Nani was in the process of leaving the Istanbul club for Valencia.
However, the persistence of the rumours and the regular updates with additional clubs in the last few weeks would suggest there is plenty more at play than simply the wishes of the head coach.
The speculation surrounding the future of Potters top scorer Marko Arnautovic looks to have died down in recent weeks, but Stoke could still find themselves in need of a more orthodox central striker for the upcoming season.
Joselu was not so consistent in his first season in England, while the quickly ageing Peter Crouch is likely to play less and less as time goes. Mame Biram Diouf was also significantly less productive in 2015/16, scoring just five Premier League goals compared to the 11 he managed a year earlier.
Van Persie remains one of only seven individuals to have scored 30 or more goals in a single Premier League season, managing the tally with Arsenal during the 2011/12 campaign.
One striker the Potters definitely are interested in is Saido Berahino of West Brom. Mark Hughes told Sky Sports News that the club is “still hopeful” of striking a deal despite none of the bids submitted have been accepted as yet.
On the subject of Van Persie, the Stoke boss played it much cooler, explaining, “There’s going to be a lot of those stories, in fairness. Some will have a little bit of substance, some won’t.”