Diouf move to Stoke appears to be off

Mame Biram Diouf, who has been linked with a move to Mark Hughes’s Stoke City, has had a summer move to the Premier League outfit ruled out by his agent Jim Solbakken,

Solbakken said: “Mame is under contract with Hannover 96. I am able to say Mame is staying on at HDI-Arena. He will play this upcoming season for Hannover 96.”

Stoke had been holding talks with the players agent about a possible return to England, the player having previously been at Old Trafford before leaving the current league champions for Germany in January 2012 and has since then scored 27 goals in 51 appearances for the Bundesliga side.

Hannover sporting director, Dirk Dufner, stated last  Friday that Solbakken had been in contact with Stoke, telling Bild:  “I phoned Jim in the morning and he told me that he has met with Stoke.”

Stoke’s own chairman Peter Coates had also confirmed Diouf as a transfer target, saying:  “He is one of the strikers we have registered an interest in.”

Having come from Norwegian side Molde, Diouf joined Manchester United in July 2009 but in two and a half years at the club he only managed one goal and five first team appearances under then manager Alex Ferguson.

But if Solbakken is right in what he says about the front mans future it will prove to be a disappointment for Hughes.

Hughes though, has had some success in the transfer market, bringing Marc Muniesa in on a free transfer from Barcelona; a hugely talented player who had high expectations before being undermined by injuries.

Hughes has also brought in defender Erik Pieters from PSV Eindhoven as he looks to restructure his inherited squad.

Also linked with a move to the Potters is former Republic of Ireland international midfielder Stephen Ireland who has not impressed Paul Lambert enough to have a future at Villa Park.  A move to Stoke could be what the former Manchester City player needs in order to kick start a career that began with such promise.

Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe has also been linked with a switch to the club, this could be dependent on how Andre Villas Boas performs himself in the transfer market and with Christian Benteke having decided to sign a new and improved contract at Villa Park rather than move to London, it could now be a case that he needs the England international as back up at least.

Boldton’s Marcos Alonso, a Spanish defender has also been connected with Hughes’s side as well as Portsmouth’s Jed Wallace, Lazio’s Luis Pero Cavanda, Gulherme Siqueira of Granada who was previously linked with a move to Everton and FC Twente’s Timo Plattel.

Brian is a sports journalist with over 5 years experience of writing on all things soccer. Resides in Dublin, Ireland.