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Stoke firm up Diouf interest

Mame Biram Diouf could be heading to the Potteries. Credit: PA

Stoke look set to make Senegal striker Mame Biram Diouf their second new signing of the summer.

Press Association Sport understands former Manchester United player Diouf, 26, whose contract with German outfit Hannover is coming to an end, has been at the Potters' training ground this week for talks with their manager Mark Hughes and chief executive Tony Scholes.

Rumours: Arsenal keen on Fabregas return

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Bardsley close to Stoke move

Phil Bardsley is heading to the Potteries. Credit: PA

Out-of-contract Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley is closing in on a move to Stoke.

Press Association Sport understands the 28-year-old Scotland international is undergoing a medical in the Potteries with a view to sealing a switch from the Stadium of Light after six and a half years.

The Black Cats had hopes to extend Bardsley's stay on Wearside after re-opening contract talks after initial discussions came to nothing, but appear to have had to admit defeat.

Read: Top transfer rumours

Stoke have had no offers for Shawcross

Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes has emphasised there has been no contact between the Potters and other clubs regarding skipper Ryan Shawcross - and that the Staffordshire outfit do not need to sell their best players.

It comes as no surprise to me what I have read about Ryan. I don't know if there is any truth in it, but certainly we have had no contact.

Players like him and Begovic, just to name a couple, will attract attention. That's part and parcel of being a successful football team.

That's the way it's always going to be. It's one of the prices of doing well, but it doesn't mean you necessarily have to do business with them.

We've been going through our situation for next year, our budgets, what is available in terms of buying players and players' wages and we are not in a position where we need to sell.

– Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes speaking to The Sentinel

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Stoke City keen on securing permanent Assaidi deal

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes will turn his attention to securing the future of on-loan winger Oussama Assaidi, with talks having already begun with his parent club Liverpool.

Assaidi starred in Stoke's 4-1 win over Fulham on Saturday.

It's important that we accept that he's not our player, he's Liverpool's player, but he's done really well for us and we're very pleased with what he's produced.

There is a hope we might be able to bring him in and a lot of that is down to the player himself. You need the right players around you to maximise your ability and I think he's found that at Stoke City, so we're hopeful.

But it's out of our hands to a certain extent because it depends what Liverpool value him at.

– Mark Hughes
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