Meet the former Real Madrid ace set to sign for Stoke City

Stoke City are closing in on the signing of Hannover 96 striker Jose Luis Sanmartin Mato, according to reports.

The 25-year-old, known as Joselu, was bought by Hannover from Hoffenheim to replace Mame Biram Diouf but could now follow the Senegalese forward to the Britannia Stadium.

According to the Stoke Sentinel, Potters boss Mark Hughes has offered a four your deal as part of a €10m (£7.23m) package to lure the former Real Madrid man.

Born in Germany but capped by Spain at U21 level, Joselu started his career with Celta B before briefly making the starting XI at Celta and being snapped up by Real Madrid Castilla.

It was at the Los Blancos reserve side where he made his name, top scoring in the 2010-11 season alongside Alvaro Morata.

With a tally of 40 goals in 72 games for the reserves Joselu was given his chance for Real Madrid and scored immediately after replacing Karim Benzema on debut.

He managed just one more appearance for the senior side but after scoring again to maintain his 100 per cent record he was sold to Hoffenheim.

Some impressive displays at the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena, and on loan at Frankfurt, convinced Hannover to make their move, and after reaching double figures in his debut season Hughes feels he could make a mark in the Premier League.

Diouf was the only Potters forward to reach double figures in the Premier League last term as Stoke finished ninth.

If Hughes is to continue the club’s upward trajectory and push for a European place next season then Joselu could be just the man to make that happen.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.