Stoke boss Tony Pulis is reportedly eyeing up a double swoop for out-of-favour Manchester United pair John O’Shea and Wes Brown, and is hopeful of securing a £8 million deal after negotiations between the league champions and Sunderland broke down.
Pulis is said to be keen on bringing the pair to the Britannia Stadium as he looks to build on his success with the Potters, and go one better than their FA Cup final defeat at the hands of Manchester City last season.
Former United player and Sunderland manager Steve Bruce looked to have tied up a deal with both players after United boss Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly told both O’Shea and Brown they were free to find another club this summer, but the move has now hit the stumbling blocks, leaving Stoke free to swoop for the defensive duo.
Aston Villa and Everton are also said to be monitoring the situation and are ready to make an offer, but Brown is said to be keen to stay in the North and is currently building a house in Staffordshire and could be interested in a move to Stoke.
Sunderland remain in the driving seat for the signature of O’Shea and will be keen to get the deal wrapped up ahead of the Black Cats return to pre-season training.
Darron Gibson’s future is also the subject of intense subjection and the Irish international could be following his team-mates to Wearside after Bruce revealed his interest in bringing the out-of-favour midfielder to the Stadium of Light.
A fee in the region of £12 million would be enough to secure the services of all three United players, however Celtic are reportedly interested in Gibson, a move which could prove too tempting for the 23-year-old to turn down.
Bruce is keen to ensure most his transfer activity is complete before Wednesday when his team return to training on Wednesday, but may have to wait a while longer for Brown and Gibson to decide on their futures.