Premier League

£7m-Rated Ligue 1 Striker Wants Prem Move To Become Next Demba Ba

Stoke City have joined the race to sign Sochaux’s want-away striker Modibo Maiga after his proposed move to Newcastle collapsed in December, reports the Daily Mirror.

Maiga was distraught after he failed a medical ahead of a proposed £7m move to Newcastle due to a persistent knee injury. Tony Pulis experienced a similar situation in last years January transfer window when Demba Ba failed a medical ahead of a proposed move from Hoffenheim to the Britannia Stadium which saw the Stoke manager deciding he wasn’t worth the risk.

Demba Ba has since proved that Pulis had made the wrong decision. The 26 year-old joined West Ham on a pay as you play basis in January 2011 then signed for Newcastle on a 3-year deal in June later that year. The Senegal striker has since bagged an outstanding 15 goals in 19 games for the Toon proving he was worth the gamble which will undoubtedly have left a bitter taste in the Potters boss’ mouth.

Maiga has insisted his knee is up to the fast flowing physical nature of the Premier League and is desperate to emulate the goal scoring prowess of Ba. So much so that the Malian International went on strike at Sochaux to push forward a transfer when he heard of Newcastle’s interest and was quoted as saying, “I’d love to play in the Premier League.”

The 24 year-old striker has scored 19 times in 41 appearances for Sochaux and has a contract with the Ligue 1 side until 2014 but the player’s representative has been in contact with Stoke as well as a handful of other Premiership clubs over a possible loan move in January. The loan deal would be arranged until the end of the season to allow Maiga to prove his fitness with a view to signing a permanent contract in the summer for an estimated transfer fee of around £7m.

Meanwhile, Stoke have ended their interest in trialist Michael Uchebo who plays for Dutch outfit VVV Venlo. Speaking to BBC Radio Stoke, Pulis had this to say on the trialist, “He came in and technically he looks a good player, but he’s not going to be for us.

“If there’s players that fit the bill and we can do a deal with them, we’ll do it, but they have to be good players that will come in and improve us.”

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