Saturday 1 October 2016

Stoke leading race to sign Allen

John Percy

Published 24/07/2016 | 02:30

Joe Allen is set to have talks with Stoke City manager Mark Hughes today. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Joe Allen is set to have talks with Stoke City manager Mark Hughes today. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Joe Allen is set to hold talks with Stoke City manager Mark Hughes today as he closes in on a £13 million switch from Liverpool. Allen will meet Hughes and Stoke officials and could complete his move in the next 48 hours to join up with his new teammates in Florida on Tuesday.

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Swansea are also considering a bid for the Wales international, as they attempt to lure him back to the club he left for Liverpool in 2012, but Stoke remain the front-runners. It is understood Allen is keen to work under Hughes, a former Wales international and manager, and Stoke are increasingly confident of completing his signing in the next few days.

Stoke's opening offer for Allen was rejected last week, with Liverpool initially sticking to their £14 million valuation, but a compromise has been reached between the two clubs. Liverpool have also inserted a clause into the deal which means Stoke will have to pay a further instalment if they secure another top-10 finish in the Premier League.

Hughes has finished ninth for the past three seasons and believes Allen can prove crucial in Stoke's midfield, with reinforcements desperately needed after injuries to Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay.

Allen's departure from Liverpool will be seen as a disappointment to many Liverpool fans after his impressive performances last season. The 26-year-old also enhanced his reputation for Wales at Euro 2016, helping Chris Coleman's side sensationally reach the semi-finals before they were knocked out by Portugal.

However, the deal represents a good one for Liverpool with Allen having less than 12 months left on his contract.

Hughes is also hopeful of ending his £20 million pursuit of West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino, despite competition from Crystal Palace. Stoke and Palace have both made offers for the 22-year-old, but Albion want to replace him before sanctioning a move. Albion would only have two senior forwards in Salomón Rondón and Rickie Lambert if they were to sell Berahino.

Telegraph

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