Reports in Turkey, France and Italy this morning suggest Stoke City are in a group of clubs trying to sign William Vainqueur this month.
The 29-year-old defensive midfielder only signed for Antalyaspor last summer, having impressed last season on loan at Marseille from Roma.
But talk is building that he might already be about to depart, despite having a contract until 2020. The Turkish club is likely to have a busy window, with Samir Nasri also reportedly wanting to leave just months after arriving from Manchester City and Samuel Eto’o apparently on his way to Brazil.
(Image: NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images)
TMW in France say Stoke and Leicester are interested in Vainqueur while Torino are also keen. That could pitch Walter Mazzarri, the man who replaced Quique Sanchez Flores at Watford, against Flores, who is expected to be unveiled at the bet365 Stadium.
Former France youth international Vainqueur has made 11 appearances for Antalyaspor, and has built his reputation for accurate passing, getting stuck in and winning interceptions.
Stoke have already made one signing in January, bringing in right-back Moritz Bauer for about £5m from Rubin Kazan.
Mark Hughes has also been pursuing Badou Ndiaye, the box-to-box Galatasaray midfielder who has an £18m release clause. It is understood that Ndiaye, Mame Diouf’s Senegal teammate, might struggle to get a work permit to play in England.