Express and Star journalist Joseph Masi has confirmed Stoke City have made an enquiry for West Bromwich Albion midfield Romaine Sawyers this summer, speaking on the latest edition of the Baggies Broadcast.
The 29-year-old was left out of Valerien Ismael’s squad for their opening Championship game against AFC Bournemouth on Friday due to the fact he came back later in pre-season after ‘an issue with Covid’ and was weighing up his future.
However, it was unclear whether he would have started regardless of his lack of match fitness, with Ismael recruiting his former captain Alex Mowatt earlier in the summer and captain Jake Livermore regaining his place in the starting lineup.
Quiz: Do you remember which player scored Stoke City’s first goal in each of the last 15 seasons?
The Baggies have also been linked with Trevoh Chalobah and former loanee Okay Yokulsu this summer, potentially signalling the end of the West Brom road for Sawyers who first arrived at The Hawthorns back in 2019 for an undisclosed fee.
But after signing a three-year deal on his arrival in the West Midlands, his contract expires in less than 12 months and with this, Ismael might be willing to cash in on one of his central midfielders to make room for more reinforcements.
Despite this Stoke enquiry though, Masi also went on to say nothing is imminent on this potential deal at this stage, so the Potters may have to wait until later on in the window to add the midfielder to their ranks.
Unless Joe Allen is leaving the bet365 Stadium, this probably isn’t Stoke City’s top priority at this stage with Nick Powell, Mario Vrancic and Sam Clucas as other top-quality options in the middle of the park.
Recruiting a winger or two to give them something different going forward is probably the more pressing issue right now, regardless of whether they adopt a 3-5-2 system throughout the 2021/22 campaign.
However, if they do go ahead and make this signing, he could be utilised more defensively to allow the likes of Powell and Vrancic to push higher up the pitch.
And from his time with West Bromwich Albion in the past couple of years, he has promotion-winning experience under his belt, something that could come in handy for Stoke boss Michael O’Neill as he looks to drag his side from the mediocre midtable position they have found themselves in since their relegation in 2018.