Stoke eye up Defoe move as Butland loan move looms

Stoke City are lining up a move for Tottenham Hotspurs striker Jermaine Defoe.

Mark Hughes has identified the former West Ham man as his top summer target and is ready to offer £6 million for the striker.

The 30 year old is reportedly available for transfer this summer with Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas lining up a number of high profile strikers to lead his forward line next season. Defoe scored 19 goals in all competitions last season but managed only 11 in the Premier League as Spurs failed to secure a Champions League spot.

The former Chelsea boss is looking to add more firepower to his side and reportedly chasing a deal for Barcelona striker David Villa as well as Brazilian star Leandro Damiao.

The arrival of those big name duos could see Defoe move on with Hughes hoping to renew his partnership with Peter Crouch at the Britannia stadium.

While Stoke would have no issue paying the £6 asking price any transfer would be dependent on the players wage demands with the player currently on £65,000 a week at White Hart Lane.

Hughes could be in a busy July with reports emerging that the Welshman is also set to loan out winter signing Jack Butland with Asmir Begovic now set to stay with the club.

England starlet Butland was signed in a £6 million deal last January as a long term replacement for Begovic who was linked with moves to Arsenal and Liverpool.

However with Arsenal cooling their interest and Liverpool signing Simon Mignolet the highly rated stopped looks set to stay with Stoke, for now.

Speaking in June, the 26 year old Bosnian International revealed in June his desire to stay saying “I am happy to be here and I am happy to stay here. I am looking forward to reporting back in pre-season, meeting the new manager and staff and cracking on with the new season.

With veteran Thomas Sorensen also at the club Hughes has plenty of options and that could mean that Butland could be loaned out to get more first experience with the Daily Mail reporting that La Liga outfit Real Sociedad are keen to bring the 20 year old to Spain.

The former Birmingham stopper is highly rated in English football and has played at all levels for the England International side. Butland was part of the British Olympic team and made his international debut in the 2-1 win over Italy in 2012.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.