Stoke join the race to sign Belgian strike ace

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Stoke City have joined an ever-growing list of Premier League clubs interested in signing Gent striker Laurent Depoitre.

The 27-year-old Belgian has been likened to compatriot Christian Benteke and Mark Hughes is said to be sending scouts to watch the forward in Gent’s Champions League tie with Wolfsburg to see what all the fuss is about.

The stands of the Ghelamco Arena may have some familiar faces to welcome the Potters scouts, however, with representatives from Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham also expected to attend.

The list of admirers doesn’t end there, however, with Leicester, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Everton, West Ham, West Brom and Sunderland also credited with an interest and expected to be keeping an eye on proceedings this week.

Depoitre smashed 13 goals last season as Gent claimed the Belgian title and with 10 goals to his name so far this term a move to the Premier League to join international team-mates including Benteke, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Divock Origi beckons.

The striker is often compared to Benteke by Belgian pundits and with his contract running out next summer it might not be too long before direct comparisons can be made.

Stoke are next in action in the Premier League as hosts to bottom side and Midlands rivals Aston Villa.

The Potters go into that game as 8/13 favourites, with the draw available at 13/5 and the Villans billed as 19/4 outsiders.

The Britannia Stadium outfit have played some stunning football on occasion this season but remain a 20/1 shot to break into the top six. Add a striker of Depoitre’s quality to the mix this summer, however, and those odds could tumble next year.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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