Stoke City are set to go to war with former manager Tony Pulis this summer with current boss Mark Hughes and the West Brom gaffer both keen on signing the same Bundesliga defender.
Hoffenheim may have endured a poor season, finishing fourth from bottom in the German top flight but Bosnian centre-back Ermin Bicakcic was one a handful of players to enhance his reputation.
The 26-year-old featured in just 18 of Hoffenheim’s 34 games but showed enough in that time to convince a number of suitors he could boost their back lines.
Reports in Germany suggest the Potters and the Baggies are at the head of the queue and this could see the player’s valuation – currently rated at £2.25m on transfermarkt.co.uk
Bicakcic came through the ranks at Stuttgart before moving to Eintracht Braunschweig in 2012 where his solid showing in defence earned him a move to the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena and while he has struggled to hold down a regular first-team place under Julian Nagelsmann both Hughes and Pulis believe he has all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League.
With Bosnia not qualifying for the European Championships this summer both clubs will have plenty of time to approach the player and while his current contract doesn’t expire until 2017 his lack of game time suggests Hoffenheim are willing to do business.
With markets for next season still thin on the ground – ahead of what premises to be an unprecedented summer of spending – the outright odds are our best indication of what lies ahead for both clubs next season.
Stoke are priced up at 350/1 and while Leicester’s 5000/1 shock success has everyone dreaming of title glory those odds suggest a mid-table finish for the Potters.
West Brom meanwhile are as big a price as anyone at 1000/1, suggesting the Baggies are on a collision course with a relegation dogfight – a fight they could well lose if they don’t win this transfer tussle.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.