Meet the Dane set to fill fellow countryman’s shoes at Stoke

Stoke City are lining up their first signing of the summer, with Danish goalkeeper Jakub Haugaard in talks with the Staffordshire outfit, according to reports.

The Potters are set to lose Thomas Sorensen at the end of the season with the veteran likely to head into retirement when his contract expires in June.

The Stoke Sentinel reports that Mark Hughes is looking towards Scandinavia again to reinforce his goalkeeping ranks with Midtjylland’s Haugaard mooted as their intended target.

With the club set to land the Danish Superliga this year, it is unlikely they would want to lose their 23-year-old stopper without a fight.

But with the arrival of Swedish international Johan Dahlin knocking Haugaard down the pecking order towards the end of the campaign, a move could well be sanctioned.

A fee of around £600,000 may seem like small fry to most Premier League clubs, but with the Wolves only selling nine players for more than £1m in their history, it is a solid figure for a team of their size.

West Ham’s purchase of Winston Reid tops the charts in terms of highest income they have received from a sale, while the likes of Simon Poulsen and Simon Kjaer aren’t far behind.

The completion of a transfer for the 6ft5in ‘keeper would add more competition for the number one jersey at the Britannia Stadium, and provide plenty of alternatives should Asmir Begovic depart in the summer.

The Bosnian has been linked with big-money moves in recent years, and with the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea interested, this could be the window he goes in.

A 3-0 victory over Tottenham last weekend all-but secured a top-10 finish for the Potters, but with their season lacking consistency, they will hope the arrival of Haugaard could be the catalyst for an attempt to crack the European qualification places in 2015-16.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.