Stoke City manager Tony Pulis remains confident of strengthening his team before the English Premier League season begins.Experienced centre-back Jonathan Woodgate, who joined on a free transfer after three injury-ravaged years at Tottenham Hotpsur, has been Stoke’s only signing of the close season so far.
The Britannia Stadium outfit have been linked with moves for two more Spurs players – centre-forward Peter Crouch and midfielder Wilson Palacios – as well as Birmingham striker Cameron Jerome.
Already in Europa League qualifying action, Stoke begin their domestic season at home to Chelsea on Sunday.
But they have until August 31 before the transfer window closes, with Pulis preferring to conduct the majority of his recruitment closer to the deadline.
“We’ll do our business with the clubs and people might be surprised who we do eventually end up with,” Pulis said.
“We will improve the squad before the window closes. But we’ve always done our business later in the transfer window rather than earlier.”
“We have to make sure that we do our business at the right price – that is something that we have always maintained and something that we will always try to do.”
“I think the closer you get to deadline day, there are better deals to be done with certain players. That has been the way we have worked ever since we were promoted to the Premier League.”
Another team slow off the mark in the transfer market are promoted Queens Park Rangers, who have only acquired striker Jay Bothroyd, midfielder Kieron Dyer and defender Danny Gabbidon, all on free transfers.
Like Pulis, QPR boss Neil Warnock has preached caution, rather than risk breaking the bank in a desperate attempt to strengthen.
“Well, we’re talking to a number of players,” Warnock said.
“We’re hoping to bring in two or maybe three players in the next week before the start of the season.”
“We’ve gone slowly about our job but I think we’ve got some good players in and we’re looking to bring two or three other good players in.”
“We haven’t gone silly and signed them straight away but we’ve been working hard behind the scenes.”