Stoke City are not going to be able to afford the sort of fee that would be required to sign Peterborough United forward Jonson Clarke-Harris this summer, according to Peterborough Today.
The Potters are one of a number of sides to have been linked with a potential move for Clarke-Harris this summer, with the forward having fired in 31 goals in 45 League One appearances for Peterborough last term.
The forward is also reportedly on the radar of Rangers who have scouted the 26-year-old, while the likes of West Brom and Sheffield United are also reportedly amongst the teams chasing his signature. The Baggies have even recently been reported to be leading the chase for him, although no bids have been made at this stage.
The latest report from Peterborough Today outlines that a number of Championship teams are unlikely to be able to afford Clarke-Harris due to financial fair play rules.
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The report specifically names Stoke City amongst those and reveals that they would only be able to afford to pay out £2 million for a single player. That would fall well short of Peterborough’s valuation at the moment.
This is a blow to Stoke’s potential transfer plans this summer, although in truth it was always going to be a challenge for them to secure Clarke-Harris’ signature. The Potters will need to add to their attacking options and a move for the 26-year-old could have been a major statement of intent about the direction they want to be heading in.
However, given the volume of interest in Clarke-Harris, it was always likely that he would go elsewhere, maybe to one of the two relegated teams that are interested in him.
What is interesting from this report is that the Potters have a self-imposed transfer ceiling of £2 million on a single purchase. That suggests that they are going to struggle to bring in a real marquee signing this summer unless it can be a very intelligent free transfer.
It shows the sort of issues that O’Neill is having to contend with and try and do smart business behind the scenes whilst also trimming down the wage bill.