Stoke streets ahead of Swansea in race for Liverpool star

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Joe Allen looks to be inching ever closer to sealing a move away from Liverpool, with Stoke the heavy favourites to provide the midfielder his new home.

The Welshman has been a regular of transfer gossip columns since playing a star turn in Wales’ Euro 2016 semi-final trip, with the Reds seemingly keen to cash in on his popularity.

We make Stoke the 1/5 odds-on favourites to land the midfielder, after they had a £13m bid accepted.

However, personal terms are still yet to be agreed between the two parties, giving a glimmer of hope to Swansea about bringing their former player back to the Liberty Stadium.

Allen is due to have talks with Potters manager, and fellow Welshman, Mark Hughes, but the Swans the lure of returning home will help them upset the apple cart.

With less than a year to run on his contract, the deal would be a good one for Liverpool, despite representing a small loss on the £16m they paid Swansea for the player in 2012.

The 26-year-old would expect to be a regular starter at either club should he quite Anfield, with the Potters in desperate need for reinforcement with Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay both injured.

It is believed Swansea want to sell Ki Sung-yeung first to help raise the funds required to land Allen and as a result we make them the 7/2 outsiders in the raise to sign the midfielder.

Both clubs open their Premier League campaigns with trips to newly promoted clubs. Stoke travel to Middlesbrough as a 12/5 chance to win, while Swansea are 2/1 to beat Burnley.

Which club will have the benefit of picking the Welsh Xavi is yet to be seen though.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.