Roy Hodgson failed in a last ditch attempt to sign Stoke City striker James Beattie for Fulham last night, with The Sun and The Daily Mirror giving differing interpretations of why the deal fell through. Beattie is surplus to requirements at the Britannia Stadium following a bust-up between Beattie and Stoke manager Tony Pulis at the Emirates Stadium in early December. The pair allegedly had to be pulled apart by backroom staff, and Beattie has started just 2 of the subsequent 9 matches Stoke have played since.
Last night it emerged that Hodgson was making a late move for Beattie, hoping to ease Fulham away from a relegation scrap by swelling his attacking options. Clint Dempsey is out for 6 weeks with knee ligament damage, whilst Andrew Johnson has struggled for fitness for much of the season, also suffering with a knee complaint . With Diomansy Kamara leaving for Celtic on loan until the end of the season, Hodgson finally secured the 6-month loan of Italian under-21 striker Stefano Okaka from AS Roma, but will still be disappointed with his failed attempt for Beattie. The Sun is reporting Beattie’s wage demands of £45, 000 a week were responsible for the collapse of the deal. However, The Daily Mirror suggests that a deal worth an estimated £2 million broke down because Beattie could not get to Fulham for a medical in time. Beattie was with the Stoke squad for their trip to Sunderland last night, and as his club stalled following the offer from Fulham, Beattie was left warming the bench again, watching his teammates earn a 0-0 draw with the Wearsiders. Beattie was looking for a 2-and-a-half year deal, and so Mohamed Al Fayed, The Daily Mirror claims, was allegedly insistent on a stringent medical before releasing the purse strings.
Beattie joined Stoke last January from Sheffield United in a deal worth £3.5 million. Beattie scored 7 goals in 16 appearances for The Potters, and was instrumental in helping them avoid relegation to the Championship. However, Beattie has managed just 3 goals in his 18 Premier League appearances this term.
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