Stoke City: No spending spree for prudent Potters, warns Peter Coates
PETER Coates has warned that Stoke City will not be big-spenders in the transfer market this summer.
City splashed out £20m on deadline-day signings of Peter Crouch, Cameron Jerome and Wilson Palacios last year, having also added free transfer signings Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson to their wage bill.
But City chairman Coates, whose family have already pumped more than £60m into the club, says the Potters can't afford to keep spending at that rate.
Having built up a Premier League squad since promotion in 2008, City's spending will depend on getting players off the books.
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They have 28 professionals in their squad, including Jamie Ness, who has signed from Glasgow Rangers pending international clearance.
Of the 28, Florent Cuvelier, Ryan Brunt and Matthew Lund have been loaned to Walsall, Leyton Orient and Bristol Rovers respectively.
But Premier League clubs can only call on a 25-man squad, which they name at the end of a transfer window.
Coates said: "Are we going to spend like we did last year?
"We can't afford to, and neither can any other club our size.
"You can only have a squad of a certain size, otherwise they are all standing on the sidelines.
"What's clever about that?
"So you only want a squad of a certain size and ours is already self-evidently too big.
"It's the same for other clubs. Arsene Wenger is saying he has to get players out at Arsenal before he can get them in. We are no different.
"What we want is the best 25 players we can get, but that's easy to say."
City are close to completing a £1.6m deal for Houston Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron, but much more expensive recruits could depend on selling players.
Coates added: "We are expecting some change around, but not a large amount.
"But if people come in for some of our players and it suits us to do a deal then that opens up possibilities."
Selling one or both of strikers Kenwyne Jones and Cameron Jerome appears the most likely way to raise funds.
Neither Jones, who cost £8m from Sunderland, nor Jerome, who cost £4m from Birmingham, were able to get a regular place in the Premier League side last season.
Stoke could also listen to offers for defenders Danny Higginbotham and Danny Collins.
City should have fewer demands on their squad than last year when they were in the Europa League, the club's first major competition since 1974.
Meanwhile, City remain the bookies' favourites to sign former England striker Michael Owen, but are not in advanced talks with the 32-year-old.
Owen is available on a free transfer after he was released by Manchester United.
THE Potters kick off their three-game tour of the United States tonight when they take on Columbus Crew (12.30am UK time).