x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Stoke keen on Birmingham's Dann and Jerome

Stoke City outlined plans to build on their success by making a joint bid in the region of £16 million for Scott Dann and Cameron Jerome.

Stoke City outlined plans to build on last season's 13th-place Premier League finish and FA Cup final appearance by making a joint bid in the region of £16 million (Dh93.6m) for the Birmingham City pair of Scott Dann and Cameron Jerome.

Sources close to Birmingham - who were relegated from the top flight last season - have confirmed that "serious conversations" have taken place between the two clubs regarding a possible deal for Dann, a centre-back and Jerome, a striker.

But no fee has been agreed for the duo and "negotiations are continuing".

Birmingham are determined to make sure they receive the best possible price for Dann, 24, who is regarded as one of the best young centre-backs in the country.

He made the move from Coventry City to St Andrew's two summers ago and formed an impressive partnership with Roger Johnson, who has also been linked with several clubs.

Dann's absence during the second half of last season with a hamstring injury suffered in the Carling Cup semi-final against West Ham United was a key reason for Birmingham losing their Premier League status.

If he leaves, it will be another major player departing Birmingham with last season's leading scorer Craig Gardner poised to move to Sunderland.

Jerome was linked with a move to Stoke during the January transfer window but no deal materialised. He has been with Birmingham for five years since moving from Cardiff and was their top scorer in 2009/10 with 11 Premier League goals.

Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, is looking to bolster his squad after his team qualified for the Europa League next season following their FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City.

Dann would provide competition to Stoke's highly rated centre-back pairing of Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross while Jerome is a stereotype Pulis forward - tall, powerful and quick, suited to benefit from their direct style of play and crosses from Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant.

Elsewhere, David de Gea confirmed yesterday that he has been in contact with Manchester United as the goalkeeper's protracted move from Atletico Madrid draws closer.

De Gea was in Manchester on Monday for a medical, with a deal reported to be worth around £18m for the player expected to be completed soon.

The 20 year old wrote on his Twitter account: "I have been invited by Man U to see the club and the city with my family and to be given an offer."

De Gea - a European Championship winner with Spain's Under 21s on Saturday - is the man chosen to fill the void left by Edwin van der Sar's retirement.

He would be the third new arrival at Old Trafford this summer following the signings of Phil Jones and Ashley Young earlier this month, and is set to push United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's spending in June to around £50m.

Ferguson revealed a month ago United had been working on a deal to sign De Gea for "quite a while" and although the youngster denied at the time an agreement had been finalised, the completion of his transfer now appears to be imminent.

* Agencies

 

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