Stoke City are entering a new era. Instead of being unwatchable because of their set in stone direct and physical strategy, they'll be unwatchable because they have no discernable strategy whatsoever. Hi there, Mark Hughes! Glad you're back in the Premier League (barf).
Anyway, Mark Hughes is interested in bringing Jermain Defoe to the Britannia, according to the Daily Mirror. Stoke have a bunch of competent strikers, but none of them are particularly fast and none of them are as good at finishing as Defoe, so he'd probably make a very solid addition for them.
Of course, this could be a bunch of bologna, mostly because it checks all of the "very easily made up" boxes. Lack of direct quotes from parties in question? Check. Mirror or equivalent shitty paper? Check. Player history with manager or other players on the squad? Check. Expendable squad player on top-6 team moving to mid- or lower-table team? Check.
The Mirror call Defoe a '£6m rated striker', which sounds legitimate enough for me. If he leaves White Hart Lane, it'll be for a price close to that. However, there is a bit of a hang-up here in that the Mirror believe Defoe would become Stoke's highest paid player if he moved and didn't take a pay cut. I like Jermain Defoe, but if you're trying to finish top half and he's your highest paid player, you're doing it wrong.
Anyway, there's no evidence that this rumor has anything to it, but it's certainly plausible and it wouldn't be shocking to hear something a bit more legitimate but not quite concrete in the next few weeks. Guardian, where you at?