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Transfer Rater: Bellerin to Barcelona

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Stoke join Swans in hunt for Tom Ince

Blackpool winger Thomas Ince has held preliminary talks with Mark Hughes regarding a possible move to Stoke City.

Ince has decided against a move to South Wales.
Thomas Ince is wanted by several Premier League clubs.

• Philadelphia Union sign Edu
• Odemwingie joins Potters

After earlier speaking to Swansea, Ince had been speaking to Swansea City but on his way home to the North West stopped off in Stoke with his father Paul, a former teammate of Potters boss Hughes.

Ince Sr gave a thumbs up salute as he drove out of the Clayton Wood complex, but as yet there has been no confirmation of any deal for the Blackpool winger.

The Tangerines have also given Ince permission to talk to Crystal Palace and Hull City as the youngster looks to secure a move to the Premier League.

Stoke have a long-standing interest in the winger and are exploring the possibility of both a loan deal and a permanent deal, with Blackpool understood to be looking for a transfer fee in the region of 8 million pounds.

Hughes has been given support from chairman Peter Coates to do sensible business during the January window and Stoke are awaiting a decision in the next 24 hours from Ince.

They hope they will be able to persuade him to join Peter Odemwingie in making the switch to the Britannia after the Nigeria international completed his move from Cardiff City and signed an 18-month contract.

Odemwingie believes linking up with Hughes will enable him to recapture his best form, after a disappointing time since joining Cardiff from West Bromwich Albion in the summer.

"I have watched many clips of him [Mark Hughes] as a player and I know there is so much that I can learn from him," Odemwingie said. "He knew how to score goals and he knew how to be a successful footballer, so the chance to experience working with him at close quarters was incredibly appealing to me.

"I have spoken to people who have played under him and his staff before and they all have great things to say about them, so that was good to hear and gave me a lot of excitement when I heard of the club’s interest to bring me here. In the few days that I have been here I have witnessed it all first hand and I can see why the other lads have enjoyed working under him so much."

Odemwingie, 32, admits that things did not quite pan out as hoped during his time in South Wales, but is hopeful of rediscovering his golden touch in the Potteries.

"Maybe in the past few months I didn’t get too many goal-scoring opportunities, but I am sure that will change here at Stoke," he added. "I am sure that the manager and his staff know about me and I am certain they will use me to my strengths.

"They are very knowledgeable people and they must feel that I can bring something different to the team. That gives me a lot of confidence and belief in myself."

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