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Outcast Stokes too costly for ambitious Polish side


Anthony Stokes

Anthony Stokes

Anthony Stokes

The on-off deal to send Irish striker Anthony Stokes to Poland is again in doubt after the title-chasing club who have been tracking Stokes admit that they cannot afford the Dubliner.

Though less than one season into a three-year deal with Blackburn Rovers, Stokes is struggling at the Championship club.

He has started just two of their 30 league games, scored only one goal in the Championship and has not even made the bench for their last three games, though manager Owen Coyle admitted that Stokes was left out due to "the ongoing thing in Ireland," referring to a court case earlier this month when the player was given a two-year suspended sentence for an incident in a Dublin nightclub. Jagiellonia Bialystock, who had been top of the table in the Polish top flight for much of this season, had expressed an interest in signing Stokes on loan, after their bid to sign fellow Irishman Cillian Sheridan fell through.

Signing a striker is even more urgent for that club as they lost 3-0, and lost their place at the top of the table, last weekend as the Polish league resumed following a winter break. But with their top earners on a maximum of €5,000 per week, Stokes is not an affordable option.

"Bringing Stokes to Jagiellonia? If someone wants to give us the money I'd sincerely welcome that but at this moment we are over-budget," said their manager Michal Probierz. "I invite to the club all those who say we should sign more players, here's our address."

Stokes' former club Hibernian, managed by Neil Lennon, failed in a bid to sign him on loan before Britain's transfer window closed two weeks ago but the Polish window remains open until the end of this month.

Traditionally one of the minnows in Poland, Jaigellonia are keen to finish off what would be their best season by winning the title for the first time.