Stoke City could be set for an interesting summer with lots of interest surrounding their big players.
If you believe the reports, Burnley want both of them and there’s other Premier League clubs sniffing about too – the pair could make the Potters a lot of money if they need it.
What of some of the more senior players though? A lot of deals expire next summer in terms of the first-team squad and one of those is Sam Clucas.
Clucas was a £6 million signing from Swansea in 2018 following Stoke’s relegation back to the Championship, and last season was a productive one in terms of goals as he netted 11 times in the league.
He emerged as a leader earlier in the season as he skippered the side on multiple occasions but it’s also been a campaign of injuries which has restricted the 30-year-old to 24 Championship outings.
Clucas though could be heading for the exit door this summer as Stoke look to trim their wage bill, with The Sun on Sunday (May 9, page 59) reporting that Blackburn Rovers are one of several Championship clubs eyeing up the midfielder.
According to the report, the club will allow Clucas to move on for no transfer fee should be he able to find one – however considering he signed a four-year contract in 2018, it would mean he has one year left on his deal.
You’d have to imagine that Clucas is on a decent wage considering the transfer fee that came along with his deal, so if he’s allowed to leave for little or no fee then someone would have to take up his wages.
Is Blackburn a realistic destination for him? You’d have to imagine so.
Quiz: Did these 18 players make more than 100 Stoke City appearances?
Rovers are going to have money to spend this summer as they’re cutting some big wages off the books – the likes of Charlie Mulgrew, Lewis Holtby and Elliott Bennett will be departing and then you have the potential sale of Adam Armstrong to a Premier League club for an eight-figure fee.
The engine room is one area Tony Mowbray will need to bolster and an in-form Clucas – despite now being 30 – brings goals to the table.
Goals are something that will need to be replaced with the expected departure of Armstrong and Clucas could help bridge that gap.
It does seem bizarre that Stoke would let him leave for nothing if the report is true, but maybe Michael O’Neill is planning on moving forward with a younger crop of players next season – and if so it would make a bit more sense.