Well, today he is definitely being announced as a Stoke City capture (apparently along with John Guidetti, a man with no less than five middle names). As I noted last week, a work permit denial cannot void a signed pre-deal, so he has actually remained a Stoke man in secret all along. They have been offering him around for a six-month loan for weeks now.
I am also about 98% certain of where he is headed on loan (think big Low Lands club). I have been waiting for that last morsel of certainty since Sunday, and when it finally comes there will be a full MLSS report.
UPDATE: Well, there are supposed to be three Stoke news items in
total today. Stephen Ireland's loan was officially made permanent.
Guidetti's loan from Man City has now been announced. The waiting is the hardest part.
UPDATE UPDATE: Let's all hope I do not regret adding the word today in the opening sentence above (one would think I could learn about affixing strict time limits to these wacky dealings). Or maybe I'm just paranoid having had only a couple hours sleep for trying to finally wrap this case with a neat bow. Either way, I have not heard of any wild twists, other than that Stoke have apparently added Charlie Adam talks with Galatasaray to the ongoing Kenwyne Jones situation already on their plate. Makes me wonder if they will now get to this today. Quoth Liz Lemon, I am going to go talk to some food about this.
UPDATE³: Various voices on both sides of the Atlantic are claiming the Agudelo pact with Stoke is for four-and-a-half years. I have no info on the contract length, but it sounds reasonable enough.
- Greg Seltzer