Stoke City reject Swansea City's £3m bid for Kenwyne Jones
STOKE City have rejected a bid of £3m from Swansea City for striker Kenwyne Jones, The Sentinel can reveal.
Stoke's hierarchy are now waiting to see whether the Swans return with an increased offer for the big Trinidadian.
News of the failed bid comes after several weeks of speculation linking the Welsh club with Jones.
And the issue couldn't come at a more sensitive time as he is pencilled in to lead Stoke's attack at the Liberty Stadium this Saturday (3pm).
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Swansea now have the rest of the month to make an improved offer if they want to land the 28-year-old striker before the transfer window closes.
Stoke are understood to want closer to £4.5m for a player costing a then-club record £8m from Sunderland two-and-a-half years ago.
They also want a replacement lined up before considering a sale because the departure of Jones would leave a huge hole in their current forward line.
That's because the big man has suddenly hit a relatively rich vein of form after stepping back into the limelight when Peter Crouch suffered several broken teeth in the home win over Newcastle on November 28.
Jones, who hadn't scored a Premier League goal since August 2011, has since bagged four in 10 league and cup appearances – including another header in Tuesday's FA Cup win over Crystal Palace.
His form has been such that manager Tony Pulis is now selecting him as his number one striker for the first time since Crouch arrived at Stoke from Tottenham for £10m 18 months ago.
It represents a dramatic renaissance for Jones at a time when his club career seemed to be going nowhere fast.
But his upsurge in form has made it harder for Pulis to strike a quick deal to do away with his services.
There is also a question mark over whether Jones, who has 18 months left on his Stoke contract, would opt to leave the Potteries for south Wales.
Replacements for Jones at a similar price are few and far between during the notoriously difficult January window.
Ironically, Swansea striker Danny Graham is a possible starter as doubts over his future appear to have sparked the Swans' interest in Jones.
Stoke would face competition for a player scoring seven goals this season and bagging 21 in 46 starts and 13 sub appearances since his £3.5m move from Watford 18 months ago.
And that competition for the Gateshead-born striker looks like being headed by top-flight rivals Sunderland.