Stoke City are confident of landing Manchester City striker Liam Delap on a season-long deal, according to sources at the bet365 Stadium.
The England Under-19 international, who was made available for a short-term deal by the Premier League champions, could even have a medical with the Championship club as quickly as later today.
Michael O’Neil is set to beat a host of clubs for the 19-year-old, who had 10 clubs chasing him this summer in their bid for promotion to the top-flight. West Brom manager Steve Bruce had confirmed he was interested in the teenager.
Heading to Stoke means Delap will be playing for the same club as his father, Rory, did for seven years including five campaigns in the Premier League under Tony Pulis.
Pep Guardiola used youngsters on his bench for the win over Bournemouth at the weekend but admitted Delap had outgrown the Elite Development Squad at the Etihad Stadium and needed to play regular senior matches.
"The EDS process has gone, is done. He has to try and go there and play,” said the City manager, who has Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez as his strikers this season. He plans on using Luke Mbete, Josh Wilson-Esbrand and Rico Lewis in his first-team squad, which was down to 14 fit players last weekend.
Delap joined City from Derby County three years ago and made his debut in the EFL Cup during the 2020/21 season, which was the first of six senior appearances under Guardiola including a Champions League debut when he came on against Sporting Lisbon.
At academy level he has 45 goals and 16 assists for City in 54 appearances across three campaigns, which saw him win the Premier League 2 title two seasons ago. Stoke also signed Dwight Gayle in the summer and Delap will compete for a place in attack alongside him.
Everton target Ben Brereton-Diaz set to attract fresh Nice offer
Nice are expected to make an improved offer for Blackburn striker Ben Brereton-Diaz after having a £10m bid turned down, with Everton also in the race for the Chile international.
The French club had their approach rejected earlier this week but are now weighing up a second package for a player who has also attracted interest from Everton to bolster Frank Lampard’s attack.
Brereton-Diaz is out of contract at the end of the season and the offers have put pressure on Blackburn to sell as he can negotiate a pre-contract with clubs in January, when the end of his deal is in sight.
The 23-year-old is yet to play in the Premier League but his performances in the Championship with Nottingham Forest and Blackburn earned him an international call-up and he has been tracked by top-club clubs.
Bournemouth are admirers of Brereton-Diaz and are looking for a striker, although they are unlikely to pay a huge fee for a player in the final year of his contract.
Eveton have looked at several strikers including Southampton’s Che Adams and Chelsea’s Armando Broja, with Brereton-Diaz also on the list of potential targets.
Nice, meanwhile, have been busy this summer recruiting players with Premier League experience and have landed Kasper Schmeichel and Aaron Ramsey.