First it was Liverpool. Then Manchester United. Then interest from abroad in the shape of Juventus. Now, the epic transfer saga starring Stoke’s defensive stalwart, Ryan Shawcross, has reached its enthralling climax, with reports that Manchester City and even Real Madrid are now in the hunt for the centre back.
According to the Guardian, Tony Pulis is keen to ward off the “predators” stalking his player, although he is also quoted as admitting: “Obviously if we are offered ridiculous money then any club would have to look at it”.
The proposed transfer fee has now risen to £20m. Will that figure be ridiculous enough to turn Pulis’ head?
As for Shawcross, if reports are to be believed, then the defender faces the decidedly enviable dilemma of merely having to choose which of the world’s biggest, richest and most successful football clubs he would like to play for.
So, does Shawcross opt for fame or fortune? Is his Italian perhaps of a slightly higher standard than his Spanish?
If he plumps for Manchester, he wouldn’t even have to move house. Then again, a move to Madrid would save the Stoke centre back a fortune in summer holidays…
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