Stoke City: Dave Kemp hopeful Geoff Cameron will join club for US tour
DAVE Kemp says he'd love to have Geoff Cameron in the Stoke squad in time for next week's trip to the United States as City attempt to complete a deal for the Houston Dynamo defender.
Stoke have agreed a fee of £1.6m for Cameron with the MLS, but the move depends on completing personal terms with the 26-year-old and gaining international clearance for the transfer.
The Stoke assistant boss doesn't want to take anything for granted until the deal is signed and sealed, but says City would prefer to get new players involved in their pre-season campaign rather than having to wait to the end of the transfer window.
He said: "We don't like to discuss players until they are our players, but we want to sign a few and we are always trying to improve.
"The way it has worked in the past is we have had to wait longer than we would have liked sometimes.
"If we can do any deals sooner rather than later that would be great."
City have done their homework on Cameron who has five caps for his country.
They believe his attitude, as well as his ability, would help him settle in at Stoke.
Kemp added: "He's a good athletic player and we are always trying to bring something new. They have to be good professionals to play here and to last here, because they have to work hard and be part of a very tight team unit.
"All the players we have are like that and the ones who come in and do well are the ones who buy into the team ethic. That's the way it is."
The Potters set off on Sunday for a three-game tour of the United States against Columbus, Orlando and Kansas.
Kemp says it would be wrong to assume that signing central defender Cameron would mean Matthew Upson is on his way out of Stoke.
The former England central defender impressed when he played last season, but was linked with a move as he couldn't get a regular place in front of Ryan Shawcross or Robert Huth.
However, Upson still has a year on his contract and his fellow central defender Jonathan Woodgate has already left on a free transfer.
Kemp says signing Cameron would not automatically mean Upson is on his way out.
He added: "Not at all. He is in the group. Geoff Cameron, below, can play in a number of positions, including in midfield or at full-back."
Meanwhile, Kemp was delighted with City's efforts as they rounded off their week-long training camp in Western Switzerland with a 1-0 win over FC Sion last night.
Matthew Etherington's 38th-minute penalty ensured City made a winning start to their pre-season campaign.
Kemp said: "The players have trained very hard. It is a week since we came back and they have been non-stop since then. Even on the day of this game they were training at 7am.
"The work rate they have put in was first class so I am very pleased with them."