Stoke City set to beat West Ham to Gala striker

Stoke City look to have stolen a march on West Ham in the race to sign highly-rated Galatasaray forward Burak Yilmaz.

The Hammers were said to be leading the race to sign the 30-year-old striker but with Irons manager Slaven Bilic apparently cooling on the idea the door has been left open for Potters boss Mark Hughes to boost his front line.

Hughes is already in the market for a player to shake up his attacking options and with the likes of Peter Crouch, Peter Odemwingie and Mame Biram Diouf being linked with moves away a bid for the Gala man could be tabled before the transfer window closes early next week.

Hughes is reported to be keen to take Yilmaz on loan initially, with a view to a permanent move in the summers,

However, from their initial talks with West Ham it seems Gala are holding out for an upfront fee rumoured to be £4.5m and will demand an additional £800,000 should the Potters side qualify for European football.

The Potters currently occupy ninth place in the Premier League and are just three behind West Ham and a potential European spot.

Hughes men take on Crystal palace in the FA Cup this weekend before travelling to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United next week.

While an FA Cup run would be welcomed by the Britannia faithful Hughes will already have one eye on his former stomping ground, where his side will go into the tie as 17/4 outsiders.

Win at Old Trafford and snap up Yilmaz and European football could soon become a reality for the Potters.

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