Carlton Cole. The man they all want (apparently)
Aston Villa and German giants Bayern Munich are the favourites to land West Ham United striker Carlton Cole with Stoke City manager Tony Pullis also interested in the English target man.
Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill is looking for a new striker to strengthen his attacking options at Villa Park, with the Ulsterman having reportedly tried to hijack local rivals Birmingham City’s move for Serbian Nikola Zigic. Carlton Cole is one of a number of West Ham’s squad reportedly up for sale, with England duo Robert Green and Matthew Upson also set for the exit door at Upton Park. Stoke City manager Tony Pullis is a confirmed admirer of Cole, however the Potters boss is unsure whether to match the reported £11 million asking price.
West Ham United striker Cole scored 10 goals in 32 appearances for the struggling Hammer’s last season as well as appearing on 5 occasions for Fabio Capello’s England. O’Neill is reportedly the favourite to land the target man, however Bayern Munich manager Louis Van Gaal is interested in bringing the striker to the Bundesliga. Sports bookmakers SKY BET make Aston Villa the leaders in the race to sign Cole, however Bayern are a close second after registering interest over the weekend.
SKY BET ODDS FOR CARLTON COLE’S NEW CLUB:-
ASTON VILLA – 11/4
BAYERN MUNICH – 7/2
LIVERPOOL – 5/1
STOKE CITY – 5/1
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR – 12/1
EVERTON – 16/1
Tony Pulis is ready to smash Stoke’s transfer record with a whopping £12million offer for Carlton Cole.
And ambitious Potters boss Pulis will also offer striker Dave Kitson as part of the deal to prise Cole away from West Ham.
Stoke are desperate to make a “marquee” signing this summer and are prepared to DOUBLE their previous transfer record of £6m for Robert Huth to sign Cole.
The England international, 26, has been a long-term target for Pulis and Stoke’s money men have agreed to push the boat out.
Bayern Munich will threaten the deal as they are set to make a substantial offer of their own – with the carrot of Champions League football next season.
Aston Villa, Liverpool and Birmingham could also table bids, but Stoke are ready to act quickly to swoop for Cole.
Pulis will throw in striker Kitson as a sweetener for the deal, after running out of patience with the £5.5m misfit.
Kitson clashed with Pulis after the 7-0 defeat to Chelsea in April and will be offloaded this summer.