Potters on verge of Ã‚9m Jones swoop
Stoke are on the verge of completing their first major signing of the summer after agreeing a £9million fee with Sunderland for Kenwyne Jones. Tony Pulis has one of the Premier League's biggest transfer budgets to blow this month but the Welshman has so far struggled to get in the players he wants. His summer-long pursuit of West Ham striker Carlton Cole has so far failed to bear fruit, while Nice frontman Loic Remy was persuaded to travel from France to the club's training ground on Thursday but ultimately not impressed enough to sign. However, Pulis is determined to spend big money on his strikeforce and has in recent weeks been alerted to the possible availability of long-time target Jones. The Welshman took Jones on loan from Southampton in 2005 and has tried to sign the 25-year-old on two previous occasions from Sunderland, who have previously been unwilling to sell. That has changed in recent weeks, however, with Jones looking unhappy in pre-season and Steve Bruce often preferring to partner Frazier Campbell with Darren Bent in attack. Jones was even used as a centre-half in a recent friendly against Hull City and, with Sunderland set to bring in Danny Welbeck on loan from Manchester United, Bruce has decided the time is right to move on the Trinidadian. He has previously been tracked by Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool but Stoke are the only club in the running this time and should complete the transfer in time to include him in their side at Wolves this Saturday. Jones has scored 19 goals in 49 starts in the last two seasons for Sunderland and was once described by England defender John Terry as the Premier League's toughest opponent in the air.
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