Stoke set to swoop for Pieters
Stoke City are pressing ahead with their attempts to sign Erik Pieters and hope a contract dispute with PSV Eindhoven will enable them to conclude a cut-price £3 million deal for the defender.
Pieters has been told he will be relegated to PSV’s reserve squad next season and forced to train away from Phillip Cocu's first team from July 1 because of his refusal to extend his contract at the club.
The 24-year-old is one of the players Stoke are hoping to lure to the Britannia Stadium this summer, while technical director Mark Cartwright has been monitoring the Netherlands international's situation for several months.
ESPN understands that further negotiations are planned between Coates and chief executive Tony Scholes within the next 24 hours and that the Premier League side have been encouraged by the contract impasse between Pieters and his club.
PSV value the player at around £6 million, but Stoke feel they can secure the services of the defender for far less because of the dispute at the Eredivisie side.
They believe PSV will be forced to lower their valuation to avoid having one of their prized assets frozen out for a season with the risk of him being allowed to leave on a free transfer in 12 months' time.
Pieters has been on Stoke's radar for six months and former manager Tony Pulis was keen to bring him to the Britannia this summer, although he has also been attracting interest from Newcastle United.
New Potters manager Mark Hughes has been promised full control over player acquisitions and has been in negotiations with Cartwright regarding the signing of a left-back.
That is one of his main priorities this summer and Stoke are now preparing to make their opening bid and test PSV's resolve over their point of banishing Pieters to the club's B team.