Stoke City have been dealt a huge blow in their bid to bring Jonson Clarke-Harris to the bet365 Stadium this summer.
That’s according to a report by the Peterborough Telegraph, who claim that Michael O’Neill’s side have a self-imposed £2m transfer limit to spend on any one individual player, which would rule them out of a move for the Peterborough United centre-forward in the upcoming transfer window.
It has also been reported that a number of other Championship sides are extremely keen on a move for the 26-year-old, including West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United and Bournemouth, with Posh believed to be demanding a fee of up to £8m in order to part with the striker this summer.
Considering just how impressive Clarke-Harris was for Peterborough last season, the news that the forward looks likely to be out of Stoke’s price range in the upcoming transfer window is sure to leave Michael O’Neill feeling gutted.
Indeed, over his 45 League One appearances for Posh last term, the £225k-rated man scored 31 goals, registered three assists and created 11 big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 2.9 shots and making one key pass per game.
These returns saw the striker earn a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.24, ranking him as Darren Ferguson’s second-best performer in the third tier of English football – with his displays going a long way to help Peterborough in securing promotion to the Championship.
And, with only Nick Powell managing to break double-figure league goals for the Potters last season, up front is an area in which it would appear the Northern Irish manager must strengthen this summer if his side are to stand any chance of mounting a push for promotion next season.
However, after the latest revelation regarding Stoke’s approach to their summer transfer business, it would appear as if the man dubbed a “leader” by Ferguson will not be the answer to O’Neill’s attacking-addition prayers, an outcome that is likely to disappoint not only the manager but also fans of the club.