Carlton Cole’s move from West Ham to Stoke has fallen through after the England international striker was unable to agree wages with the Potters.
Cole looked set to join Stoke in a deal worth around £4.5m, but it is thought the 27-year-old’s wage demands were deemed too high.
West Ham appeared to be resigned to losing Cole, having moved closer to signing Eidur Gudjohnsen as a replacement for the rangy former Chelsea striker.
But the Championship club must now decide whether they will keep hold of Cole or look to offload him to a different Premier League side.
Stoke, meanwhile, will need to reassess their transfer targets with the Premier League season kicking off in just over a month.
The Potters are 2/1 to finish in the Premier League’s top ten this season, and they have proven themselves to be worthy top flight competitors since their promotion in 2008.
They have already signed former Tottenham and Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate ahead of the new campaign, and manager Tony Pulis is reportedly keen to add to his squad again this summer.
In other news at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke have been given a tough draw in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.
The Potters have been paired with Croatian outfit Hajduk Split, and the two-legged tie will take place on July 28 and August 4.
Stoke, who last played in a European competition in the 1974/75 season, will play the first leg at the Britannia Stadium on Thursday, July 28.