Stoke City: Potters closing on Geoff Cameron after agreeing £1.6m fee
STOKE City are closing fast on the signing of American international Geoff Cameron after shaking hands on a fee of $2.5m (£1.6m).
But club chairman Peter Coates stressed they had only cleared one of three hurdles in their quest to sign the 27 year-old Houston Dynamo defender.
The club is still negotiating personal terms with Cameron, while international clearance must also be granted by FIFA.
FIFA regulations mean Cameron must have played at least 75 per cent of competitive internationals over the past two years for a nation ranked in the top 70 (the US is currently ranked 36th). Cameron, who has appeared five times for his country, falls just short of the 75 per cent rule, but US national coach Bob Bradley is prepared to verify that he would have met the requirement had he not been injured.
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Coates said: "The deal is a work in progress as we speak.
"We are still talking on personal terms and we need to make sure we get international clearance for him.
"But we are hopeful we will get that clearance on the basis of his history, his background and his achievements to date.
"We can see no reason why we won't get that clearance, but obviously we are taking nothing for granted."
A transfer deal was eventually agreed with America's Major League Soccer, which sets a player's valuation in the States, after they had originally asked for $3m and Stoke had offered $2m.
Cameron will be following in the footsteps of Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden if he makes it into the Premier League after both once played together at Houston.
Meanwhile, prospective new signing Jamie Ness will have to watch from the sidelines at this evening's first summer friendly against Swiss outfit FC Sion as he awaits FIFA clearance to sanction his move from Glasgow Rangers.
Ness himself has brushed aside the after-effects of a long-running injury lay-off, caused by a back alignment issue, and has participated fully in Stoke's rigorous training schedule in Switzerland.
Stoke are likely to field two sides this evening in a bid to give their entire party a run out of some description – and assistant boss Dave Kemp is warning fans not to read anything into the scoreline.
"We are really treating this game as an extension of our training schedule out here," he explained.
"The players will have done plenty of tough work going into the game because we are not treating it as we would a normal match. It's all about fitness at this stage of pre-season, not getting results."
STOKE have released an image of their new badge for next season to celebrate the club's 150th anniversary.
The badge, which will feature on all merchandise, includes a return for the club's old latin logo Vis Unita Fortior (united strength is stronger).