According to The Times, West Ham have received an improved offer of £45m from Chinese outfit Shanghai SIPG for Marko Arnautovic, with the Austrian reportedly keen on the move; should the Hammers accept the offer, they stand to make a profit of £25m, with 20% of that going to Stoke thanks to a sell-on clause inserted into his deal. How should the Potters spend that cash?
Well, The Times reports that, after West Ham rejected an offer of £35m last week, Arnautovic’s eastern suitors were not disheartened and are set to come back with an extra ten million – if this is true and the new fee meets the Irons’ valuation, Stoke will receive a cool £5m.
The hitman has become a key player for the London club, who currently sit eighth in the table and are impressing with their attacking football. Meanwhile, Stoke haven’t won in their last five in the Championship and, contrary to the reputation they have built over the years, have been struggling to keep the ball out of the back of the net.
A veteran defensive partnership of Ashley Williams and Ryan Shawcross has looked weak recently and, as both are into their twilight years, a new centre-back has to be on the agenda – should the Arnautovic deal go through, Nathan Jones and co should absolutely move for Millwall’s Jake Cooper.
Despite the Lions’ struggles this season – they currently sit 20th in the standings – they have one of the league’s best defenders on paper in Jake Cooper. The former Reading man records an average match rating of 7.13, bettering those of Shawcross and Williams.
At 6-foot-4, Cooper is a force to be reckoned with and WhoScored lists his aerial duels as ‘strong’ – this would be a huge asset to the Potters at both ends of the pitch – he wins 5.8 a game on average.
Jones needs goals wherever he can get them and Cooper can offer contributions going forward as well as being a colossus at the back – the 23-year-old has bagged an astonishing five goals and chalked up six assists this term.
Transfermarkt values the Bracknell-born big man at just £1.8m, although the high-ups at The Den will surely want more than that considering the impression he has made this season – what do you think, Stoke fans? Would you like to see Cooper at the bet365 Stadium? Let us know by voting in the poll below…