Stoke still eyeing Cole capture
Stoke have not given up hope of signing Carlton Cole this summer despite the striker's comments that he is "committed to West Ham". Cole is a long-term target of Stoke and looked to finally be on the verge of a move to the club when West Ham accepted their bid of an initial £4.5million. However, Cole remains at Upton Park over a week later and insists he is happy to spearhead their promotion challenge from the Championship - unless told otherwise by the club's hierarchy. "I am as committed to West Ham as always," he told the club's official website. "I am a West Ham player and have no knowledge that is going to be any different. Unless I am told something different, I am a West Ham player and will be doing my all for the team. "There has been a lot of things reported and that it was a done deal that I was moving to another club, but that is not the case and I want our fans to know, unless I am told anything different, I am as committed as ever to the team and getting the club back in the Premier League." It is reporting Cole had asked Stoke for parity with their top earners, a demand the Potters were unwilling to meet, but Tony Pulis is ignoring the media speculation and still hoping to strike a deal. He told Sky Sports News: "A lot of people are talking about it (the deal) and saying what they've got to say in the papers but I keep saying I will do my business through the right channels. "The more that goes on in the papers, the worse it gets, and it causes rifts so we're best off trying to do the deal and then letting the papers know." Cole, 27, joined West Ham from Chelsea in July 2006 and has scored 42 goals in 165 appearances.
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