West Ham striker set to sign for Stoke
Published 23:02 08/07/11 By Mirror Football
Tony Pulis is set to make Carlton Cole his first signing of the summer in a £4.5million deal.
Stoke boss Pulis has agreed a fee with relegated West Ham for striker Cole that could see the Potters eventually pay £6m.
Cole has been a Stoke target ever since their promotion to the Premier League and is expected to have a stringent medical over the weekend before signing a four-year deal.
West Ham rejected a £3m offer last week but have accepted an improved bid and Cole will become the second high-profile departure since dropping out of the Premier League.
Stoke will pay an initial £4.5m and then a further £1.5m on appearances for the 27-year-old England international.
Pulis and his squad flew out to Austria for a pre-season training camp yesterday and hope Cole can join them in the next 48 hours.
Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen believes Cole, who he knows from a loan spell at former club Aston Villa, will prove a shrewd piece of business.
He said: “He is a much improved player. He was fairly young when I played with him at Villa. He was a little bit indisciplined and needed a lot of work. But he has definitely improved.
“The role he has had at West Ham has given him a lot of responsibility and you can see he has grown.
“He has been involved with the England team and, whenever we have played him, he has been a handful with his physical presence.
“He has also capped every season with quite a few goals. If he came to Stoke, I think he would be a great signing for us.”
Pulis will step up his bid to land Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson and Birmingham pair Scott Dann and Cameron Jerome next week.