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Pogba signs fan's Man United shirt

The Toe Poke

Stoke to move for Larsson

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has admitted the club may move for Birmingham midfielder Sebastian Larsson if they fail to strike a deal with Real Zaragoza for Jermaine Pennant.

Pennant arrived at the Britannia Stadium in the summer on a loan deal and had hoped to thrash out a permanent move, but this has been cast into doubt by the Spanish club's demands for a fee.

Stoke are working to secure the signature of the former Liverpool winger, but manager Tony Pulis has other irons in the fire should the deal for Pennant flounder. Coates played down links with Wayne Bridge on Wednesday, but he has admitted Larsson, who is out of contract at Birmingham in the summer, is on their radar.

"Larsson is a possibility but we have to see how we get on with Jermaine first," Coates told The Sun. "We're on the case and hope we can do something.

"There's some way to go and with a bit of luck he'll stay. We'd like him to stay, that part's good - it's the other messy bit we have to sort out. We won't be paying £6 million. It's a totally unrealistic figure from our point of view."

Meanwhile, Coates claims that defender Ryan Shawcross is not for sale.

"He's a good player, so there is always going to be interest in good players," Coates said in the Daily Mirror. "But Ryan is our player and that is how we intend to keep it. He's not for sale.

"He's very settled in the area with his young family. I think that everyone can see he is advancing his career with us after joining us at an early age and progressing. We are good for him and he is good for us - and that is always the perfect partnership."


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