Stoke City are said to have joined the race to sign Peterborough United striker Jonson Clarke-Harris this summer, with the Stoke Sentinel reporting that the Potters have emerged as potential suitors.
Clarke-Harris has been in the form of his career for the Sky Bet League One side, with his 33 goals across all competitions helping the Posh to gain promotion back to the Championship after several years away.
As a result of his strong showings, the likes of Glasgow Rangers, Cardiff and Swansea City have all registered their interest in signing the 26-year-old, who is likely to fetch Peterborough a fee in the region of £7 to £8 million if he does indeed depart, with the player’s former club Bristol Rovers holding a 20 percent sell on clause.
However the club’s owner Darragh MacAnthony has recently suggested that he would view that fee to be a bargain price for his star man.
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The former Rotherham United and Coventry City frontman only moved to London Road last summer and has a contract with the promotion winners until the summer of 2024.
This would be a real statement of intent from the Potters if they managed to snare Clarke-Harris away from Peterborough this summer, with the frontman having become the best finisher outside of England’s top two divisions.
He wouldn’t come cheap and is sure to get offers from elsewhere, but the chance to head up a probable promotion bid at the Bet365 Stadium could prove too hard to turn down as he looks to take his career to another level after excelling with the Posh.
Stoke will clearly need to offload some fringe players to balance the books first but they undoubtedly have the financial capabilities to pull off such a deal, thanks the the influence of John and Peter Coates.
I expect this to be just the start of an ongoing saga over the future of Clarke-Harris and I suspect that the Potters would have to pull out all the stops to get their man if they firmed up their interest with an opening bid.