Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Beattie set for Rangers switch

James Beattie

Striker James Beattie is on the brink of joining Scottish Premier League champions Rangers.

Just a day after smashing the club record by signing Kenwyne Jones for £8million, Stoke manager Tony Pulis is now close to offloading Beattie.

The former Blackburn, Southampton, Everton and Sheffield United forward was involved in a much-publicised bust-up with Pulis in early December last year. Despite suffering with recurring fitness issues, Beattie rarely figured over the second half of the season.

With Jones' high-profile arrival, Pulis now has the opportunity to move unwanted players on, and Beattie looks set to leave.

"James is up talking to Rangers, so I don't know how that is going on at the moment," said Pulis. "If it goes through it will be a permanent deal."

With cash still to spend, as Stoke are to spread their payments for Jones over four years, Pulis is hoping to tie up a deal for West Ham midfielder Radoslav Kovac.

Czech Republic international Kovac only joined the Hammers a year ago from Spartak Moscow in a £2million deal.

But with Salif Diao opting not to sign a new deal with the Potters, much to Pulis' disappointment, the City boss is now hoping to land Kovac.

"We're still trying to do something with Salif, and if we can, we will," said Pulis. "But by the sounds of things he wants to keep things in play, which I can understand.

"So we're a midfielder short of what we want in the squad, which is why I'm looking at Kovac, and it's now down to West Ham. The ball is in their court."

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