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Ben Arfa experiment fails at Hull

Hull City
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Stoke eye Olsson swoop

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is considering a reunion with Martin Olsson, ESPN has been told, but only if Blackburn Rovers are prepared to lower their £7 million valuation of the Sweden international.

Martin Olsson celebrates his goal for Blackburn
Martin Olsson wants a move to the Premier League

- Studying Stoke's transfer policy

Hughes is keen to link-up once again with the left-back he helped nurture after signing him for Blackburn as a 17-year-old.

Olsson, 25, has been on Stoke's list of potential signings for around two seasons, with attempts to buy him last summer thwarted by Blackburn’s excessive demands to allow the defender to leave Ewood Park.

Blackburn owners Venkys still appear determined to hold out for a fee in the region of £7 million for Olsson, who is eager to return to the top flight to improve his chances of making Sweden's squad for the World Cup next summer.

A source close to the player confirmed Stoke's interest, saying: "Stoke are one of the clubs who are interested, but the problem is Blackburn have set a very high transfer fee.

"It was the same last summer when Stoke tried to sign him. He would like to be in the Premier League again, but that will only happen if Blackburn are prepared to lower their demands."

Hughes gave Olsson his Premier League debut at 19 when he was manager at Blackburn and believes the attacking full-back will help give his Stoke side a more attractive dimension.

The Welshman also retains an interest in PSV Eindhoven left-back Erik Pieters, who is in the final year of his contract and available for around £3 million, but his previous association with Olsson could prove to be the key to any deal.

Olsson does not want to spend another season in the Championship and risk not adding to his 15 international caps, while he could have other alternative exit routes with Norwich City and West Ham United also interested in signing him.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is keen to link up again with his former Blackburn defender and had a bid of around £2 million rejected for him in January.

Olsson has two years left on his contract and Blackburn are determined to maximise the transfer value of one of their prized assets.

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