Tony Pulis is going to test Mick McCarthy’s mettle by reportedly offering Kenwyne Jones and £4m for Wolves hit-man Steven Fletcher.
The Wolves striker has stepped his performances up another level this season and is the club’s top-scorer with eight league goals. Despite this good form, Wolves have been struggling to find consistency in their play and are set for another year of relegation threatened football. Stoke meanwhile, continue to consolidate themselves as an established Premier League club, bringing in players of the ilk of Peter Crouch and Matthew Upson.
They are now looking to the 24-year-old striker, who Pulis sees as a younger and harder working version of their former record signing Jones. The relationship between Jones, whose first-team apperances have been limited this season, and Pulis has been strained over the past six months and the manager is ready to use the Trinidad and Tobago international as a make-weight in the deal to attract McCarthy into selling his prized asset.
The Scottish-international signed for Wolves for £6.5m from Burnley in 2010 and quickly developed into their main man in the forward line, even becoming more influential than Kevin Doyle.
His strength in the air along with his instinctive finishing skills have made him a top target for Pulis’ Stoke side, who are notoriously very direct in their attacking play.
McCarthy however has insisted that there is ‘no chance’ Wolves will sell their top scorer, who has scored five in his last six Premier League games. Pulis realises this but offering a like-for-like replacing in Jones plus a big chunk of cash could be enough for the former Republic of Ireland manager to consider his options.