“Stoke City still have seven or eight transfer targets ahead of the new season, and no, for the hundredth time, I am not related to Paul Scholes. It is possible for two people in football to have the same surnames and not be related,” the words of chief executive Tony Scholes.
After recently signing Spain Under-21 striker Joselu, surprisingly, The Potters have been linked with Paul Pogba, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero. “We missed out on Sporting Lisbon’s Cedric Soares. He, for some idiotic reason, opted to join Southampton, so we decided to become more aggressive in the market. Mark my words, we are more ambitious than ever before,” announced a defiant Scholes.
“Who would you like to see in a Stoke jersey come the opening day of the Premiership season?” asked a reporter from the BBC, to which the CEO replied: “Pogba looks decent, I also like the look of that Messi lad at Barcelona. We only have a kitty of £10 million, however, we are prepared to make it stretch.”
Recent reports have suggested that a player plus cash offer will be made very soon for Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s star man, and rumour has it that Charlie Adam will be offered along with £2.5 million.
“Is there any truth in the Eden Hazard rumours?” asked the same reporter.
Debating whether or not to offer a credible response, Scholes replied: “Yes, we are confident of a deal being completed by the middle of next week. Charlie Adam might resemble a bus driver, but Chelsea recognise the ability he possesses. We are also looking to add two defenders, three midfielders and two strikers before our first Premiership game versus Liverpool, a team we absolutely demolished a few weeks ago.”
“Okay, you mentioned Hazard, Can you name the other six players you are confident of signing?” asked the BBC reporter
“Well, Pogba and Messi might be out of our reach, I am not totally deluded, but Raheem Sterling hasn’t moved to City yet, so he is definitely one. The Chilean pair of Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez are on their way. They both sent me private messages on Facebook, I hope they weren’t fake accounts. Defensively speaking, we would love to sign Raphaël Varane from Real Madrid and Mats Hummels from Dortmund, even if he is linked with Manchester United. Christian Benteke and Sergio Agüero are two strikers we have our eyes on. If we fail to sign either of them, honestly, we’ll probably just re-sign Cameron Jerome.”
With a perplexed look, the BBC reporter asked: “That’s quite an ambitious list, how can you hope to sign all these players with £10 million?” “Hmmm. That’s a great question, I’ll get back to you soon,” replied Scholes.
Is it possible to be both fiercely ambitious and utterly delusional? If so, Tony Scholes fits the bill. Finishing ninth in the Premier League table with an impressive 54 points, Stoke had a stellar campaign under the stewardship of Mark Hughes last term, and next season looks to be the year in which the club finally qualify for the Champions League.