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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Stoke deny bidding for Carlton Cole

Stoke City have refuted reports that they have made a bid for West Ham striker Carlton Cole, insisting the claims are "unfounded".

Several newspapers have suggested that the Potters made a club record £9 million offer for the England forward - talk chairman Peter Coates flatly denies.

"Those reports are unfounded and it is not the case whatsoever," Coates told BBC Radio Stoke. "We've not made a single bid in any way, shape or form."

Speculation the FA Cup finalists are planning to bring Cole to the Britannia Stadium refuses to go away, though Pulis also dismissed reports linking Stoke with a move for Cole last August.

"There's no truth in it at all. They've got to fill their papers and fill their television programmes," Pulis said at the time.

With Blackpool joining West Ham in the Championship next term, several high profile players may be destined to return to the Premier League. Tangerines talisman Charlie Adam is admired by many but Coates dismissed the possibility of the midfielder joining Stoke's ranks.

"I don't think the manager is interested in him," he said. "He's not mentioned him to me so I assume he's not interested in him."

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