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Four-goal Faris dreams of AFC Cup final

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Stoke chairman confirms interest in Van Nistelrooy

Stoke chairman Peter Coates has confirmed the club's interest in Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Van Nistelrooy, 33, has had little first-team football at the Bernabeu in recent months as a result of injuries and new arrivals at the club and, with the World Cup just six months away, he is eager to secure more playing time to bolster his hopes of representing Netherlands.

Several clubs around Europe are thought to be monitoring the situation, and Stoke were surprisingly linked in a newspaper report early in the week. Manager Tony Pulis laughed off the suggestions, insisted the story was not true and that "people have to fill their back pages".

However, Coates has now said that Stoke are looking into the possibility of bringing Van Nistelrooy to the Britannia Stadium.

"It may be a long shot but we've made enquiries and we'll see what comes from them," he told BBC Radio Stoke. "It depends on him wanting games to make sure he goes to the World Cup.

"We're too far away from it to know how realistic the chances are of it happening. We really don't know at this stage."

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