Stoke agree on fee for West Ham striker Cole, and is Bruce happy with Wickham investment. More
Transfer talk: Spurs holding firm as Chelsea increase bid for Modric
Stoke City have agreed on a fee with West Ham United for Carlton Cole.
The England international striker, 27, is currently in Switzerland with the Hammers squad for a pre-season training camp but is set to hold talks with Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, on his return.
Peter Coates, the Stoke chairman, told Sky Sports News: "We have agreed terms with West Ham, that's done. Now it's a case of can we agree terms with Carlton?" The fee is believed to be an initial £4 million (Dh23.4m) with a possible £2m in add-ons. Coates said: "I think we've tried to sign him around three times over the past few years without succeeding, so maybe we will get somewhere this year."
Tottenham are adamant that Luka Modric will depart for South Africa for the club's pre-season tour today despite reports of an increased bid from Chelsea for the playmaker. Chelsea have reportedly gone back to Spurs with a £27m bid for Modric after seeing their initial offer of £22m rejected last month.
Spurs are scheduled to play in a tournament with the Kaizer Chiefs and the Orlando Pirates in South Africa. Their first match is on Saturday. Modric's representative, Nikki Arthur Vuksan, confirmed the player will join up with the Spurs squad. "Of course Luka will be going. He is a Tottenham player and he has a contract there," he said. Meanwhile, Ledley King, the Tottenham captain, has had more surgery on his left knee and will miss the tour of South Africa.
Steve Bruce, the Sunderland manager, is convinced the club will get value for money from their investment in the teenage striker, Connor Wickham. Sunderland paid Ipswich an initial £8.1m for the 18 year old, and could eventually have to pay as much as £12m.
Bruce told the Sunderland Echo: "He's got bags and bags of potential. When you are buying potential, of course there's always a risk. But I'm convinced that he's going to be a top player. He provides something different. I'm convinced he will be a fantastic signing for Sunderland."
Hamburg have confirmed their interest in Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner but fellow Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund have quashed speculation they are chasing the striker. The Denmark international looks set to leave Arsenal this summer and was left out of Arsene Wenger's squad for their tour of the Far East.
AC Milan, Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon and Benfica have all been linked with a move for Bendtner. Frank Arnesen, the Hamburg sporting director, is a fan of the 23 year old. "We need more creativity in our offence," he told Hamburger Abendblatt. "Bendtner would be a real dream, he is a very interesting player. But there are two other clubs who have made an offer and we are unfortunately not in that position."
Newcastle's pursuit of the Swansea defender Neil Taylor has taken a new twist with the news that his situation has been referred to the Premier League. A Premier League arbitration panel has been asked to rule on a clause in the 22-year-old full-back's contract that Newcastle believe triggers his release for a fee of £1m.
Swansea insist the clause only allows clubs to talk to the player and they do not have to accept any offer. As a result, with the two clubs valuing the player differently, the Premier League have been asked to intervene, although that request has not come from Newcastle.