For Stoke City, it seems as though attention can now start to fully turn towards the 2021 summer transfer window.
Sitting 12th in the Championship table, 13 points adrift of the top six and 21 clear of the bottom three, it is clear that the Potters will not be going up or down this season.
As a result, those in charge at the Bet365 Stadium now have some time to sit down and assess their options ahead of the market reopening in a few week’s time.
Perhaps not surprisingly therefore, there has been plenty of speculation surrounding Stoke have emerged recently, and here, we’ve taken a look at some of the biggest Potters transfer stories to have emerged over the past few days.
O’Neill makes Nick Powell admission
One player whose future those of a Stoke persuasion will no doubt want clarity on sooner rather than later, is Nick Powell.
The attacking midfielder has been a standout figure for Stoke this season, where he has scored 12 goals and provided three assists in 36 league appearances, although he is out of contract at The Bet365 at the end of this season, and it may not be easy to secure a new deal for the 27-year-old.
Speaking about Powell’s future recently, Stoke manager Michael O’Neill admitted that while he is keen to secure a new deal for the attacker, the situation around FFP and the terms of contracts that Stoke’s squad are currently, means they are not currently in a position to offer new deals, something the club will apparently try to address in the summer.
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Bursik’s price tag revealed
One player who has left Stoke recently, albeit on a temporary basis, is Joe Burisk, who has joined League One promotion chasers Peterborough on a temporary basis, following an injury to their number one, Christy Pym.
Bursik, who has previously been on loan with the likes of Accrington and Doncaster, enjoyed a run in the Stoke first-team amid a goalkeeping injury crisis of their own earlier in the season, where it seems he clearly impressed.
Speaking after his side had completed the loan signing of Bursik, Peterborough director of football Barry Fry claimed that following that run in the Potters side, Stoke now value Bursik at £30million, having improved his contract following that spell in the first-team.
Wimmer confirms exit aim
In terms of permanent departures, one Stoke player who certainly seems keen to be on the move this summer, is Kevin Wimmer.
The defender has struggled for game time with the Potters ever since he joined the club from Tottenham in the summer of 2017, and is now on-loan in the German second-tier with Karlsruher, a move he seems to be enjoying.
Speaking recently, Wimmer admitted to the German press he would be keen to make that loan permanent, expressing a desire to reach an agreement with Stoke for such a deal to be completed this summer, when he will be entering the final 12 months of his contract with the Potters.