Just a year after joining Turkish side Fenerbahce from Manchester United, it appears Robin van Persie may get the opportunity to revive his reputation on English shores, with Stoke the frontrunners to secure his services.
The Dutchman, 32, is as short as 2/1 with us to be a fully-fledged Stoke player by the time the current transfer window is archived.
Speculation has been bubbling away all summer that RVP is seeking a return to the Premier League and, given the unstable political climate which has developed in Turkey, an obvious catalyst now exists.
Other prominent clubs in the betting include Middlesbrough at 7/2 and Everton at 8/1.
After Alvaro Negredo’s loan arrival on Teesside from Valencia added to already plentiful centre-forward stocks it feels unlikely that Van Persie will also be required by Aitor Karanka.
The Goodison Park striker roster is certainly sparser and Ronald Koeman’s new club are worth keeping tabs on.
However, given the Potters’ desperately poor goal returns last season, it’s really not difficult to see why a two-time Premier League top goalscorer might compel Mark Hughes to exploit Van Persie’s unsettled situation.
Not only did ninth-placed Stoke find the net fewer times than any of those they shared the top-half of the standings with in 2015/16, their meagre tally of 41 was also bettered by half of those teams that finished below the fold.
Other than Mame Biram Diouf’s modest tally of five, the majority of league goals came courtesy of wide players such as Marko Arnautovic and Bojan Krjic. Hughes’ unwillingness to play veteran frontman Peter Crouch during the campaign also illustrates Sparky’s need to add an authentic line leader this summer.
Van Persie may have fallen out of favour in the last of his last of three campaigns as a Red Devil, but having left Old Trafford boasting an overall strike rate inside a goal every two games, his predatory instincts were in evidence again at Fenerbahce last season.
The Dutch international scored 16 times in 31 Super Lig goals appearances and given the paucity of goals in the Potteries last term, Hughes needn’t dither.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.