Belfast Telegraph

Stoke to hold Pennant talks

Stoke boss Tony Pulis has indicated talks are to get under way between the club and Jermaine Pennant about making the winger's loan move from Real Zaragoza permanent in January.

Pennant has impressed since joining the Potters in August and recently stated his desire to stay beyond the forthcoming transfer window, when his deal at the Britannia Stadium comes to an end. Pulis is similarly keen to keep hold of the 27-year-old and revealed that he and Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes would be having "a chat" about the matter.

"Tony Scholes is actually coming down to have a chat (on Thursday), so we'll see where we are, but that will be left to the football club and Jermaine's people," Pulis said.

The manager stressed, though, that any deal for Pennant would have to be in keeping with the Staffordshire outfit's current financial structure.

Pulis continued: "I think everybody would like him to stay, but as I have said before, we have a structure at the football club that (chairman) Peter Coates and his family are very keen to keep.

"It's a tough world out there at the moment and we have to work within our means.

"They are prepared to put a hell of a lot of money into this football club but we have to sensible, and I think the big thing with the family is that there is no way in a million years they ever want to put this club at risk financially, irrespective of what we are doing or not on the pitch."

Pennant had to come off only 11 minutes into the Potters' 3-0 win at West Brom last weekend after sustaining a hamstring problem, and it remains unclear whether he will be available for Saturday's clash with Manchester City.

"He'll be touch and go," Pulis said. "We'll have a good look at Jermaine on Saturday before the game and I think we'll work him away from the group right up until the last minute to give him as much time as we possibly can."

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