Stoke City: The transfer window is open and the speculation begins...
The January transfer window is open for business, and the rumours about comings and goings are in full flow.
THE professional rumour mongers do not seem to be putting much thought into the art of transfer predictions these days.
When the winter transfer window opens on the eighth day of Christmas every 12 months, the gossips take one look at Stoke City's squad and whisper ... "full-backs".
Any big defender who can play wide who is known to be on the market is soon said to be on his way to the Potters and 2013 is proving true to form.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The Sun have been first to throw a dart at a list of names and come up with left-back Faouzi Ghoulam, from Saint Etienne, who is "6ft 1in-tall and valued at £2.2m".
City are "locked in a three-way battle for the 21-year-old with Fulham and Udinese" but if Tony Pulis is thinking solely about getting cover for Marc Wilson, this is probably not the man.
Ghoulam has played for France under-21s, but he has switched allegiances to Algeria and will be jetting off smartish later this month to play in the African Cup of Nations.
Martin Olsson has been linked before. The Sentinel reported Stoke had made an inquiry to Blackburn Rovers about the left-back's availability back in July.
ESPN have brought the 24-year-old's name to the top of the pile, saying: "Pulis was put off by the Championship club's £8m demands before, but would like to bring two new players in, with a left-back the priority".
"A source close to Olsson" is quoted: "Sunderland have an interest and have watched him a few times recently and Stoke are also interested.
"It depends what Blackburn want to do. He is in the team at the moment and there has been another change of manager. Stoke were put off in the summer by the valuation."
A source close to Sentinel Player watch said: "Anyone can just make up a quote from an anonymous source."
Meanwhile, the Honduran newspaper Diario Deportivo Diez's weekly Wilson Palacios-watch column has not been great of late and the Reading Chronicle has the midfielder listed as a target for the Royals.
Meanwhile, CREWE ALEXANDRA and PORT VALE have been busy actually conducting deals.
Crewe have extended the loan of goal-scoring central midfielder Brad Inman from Newcastle United until February 11.
The Vale have brought back Trinidad international Chris Birchall until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.
Compiled by PETER SMITH