Stoke stick to their guns over transfer targets
Published 09:20 27/08/11 By David Anderson
Tony Pulis claims he won’t break the bank to sign Peter Crouch for Stoke.
Pulis wants Crouch, Wilson Palacios and Shaun Wright-Phillips to take the Potters to the next level, but only if they are prepared to take a cut in pay to fit within their £30,000-a-week wage ceiling.
Stoke missed out on West Ham's England striker Carlton Cole because of this limit and Pulis says he won’t gamble with the club’s future by handing out massive contracts.
“We have a wage structure at the football club which we’re very keen to keep to,” he said. “It’s the way we’ve run the football club and it’s the way we’ll try to do it.
“The problem is as you get better, you’re asking players to come for maybe less than what they’re earning at other clubs and that’s the difficult thing.
“We’ll keep pursuing and trying to do the deals that we can do.”
Pulis hopes Stoke’s qualification for the Europa League group stages will make the Potters more attractive and says he needs at least four more players.
He said: “We’re not capable of competing on two fronts at the moment.”
Pulis, whose side face West Brom on Sunday, added: “We’re looking for players to go straight into the team who will take the level up and push the ones who are here.
“We’ve managed to do that over the last couple of years to keep the momentum going. But you reach a stage sometimes where you might just hit the top.
“We’re doing our damnedest to bring four or five players in because that’s how many we need. If we’re left with the players we have now, then we’ll just have to get on with it.”
Stoke are preparing for a testing period and striker Kenwyne Jones said: “It’s fantastic to be where we are right now, and to qualify for the group stages is a good achievement for the club.
“But it’s only a start and we can’t afford to sit back and applaud ourselves.
“There is a lot of hard work in front of us. European football is totally different to the Premier League, so the big thing now is to learn how to balance the two, as games will come thick and fast.
“We know our priority is the Premier League. The key will be how we can come off the back of a European match and get back down to business in the league.”