Is Premier League starlet the mystery Stoke City fourth signing?



Stoke City are closing in on their fourth summer signing and whispers have already began to circulate online regarding who the mystery target could be.

It is no secret that Michael O’Neill is keen to bolster his striking options at the bet365 Stadium ahead of the new season, and it would come as no surprise if arrival number four proved to be a frontman.

A number of strikers have been linked with moves to North Staffordshire in recent weeks, including League One hot-shots Johnson Clarke-Harris (Peterborough) and Dion Charles (Accrington) as well as the arguably more intriguing Slavia Prague frontman Jan Kuchta.

But what about Manchester City’s Liam Delap, the son of first-team coach, and Potters legend, Rory?

Well, whilst numerous Championship clubs have been on red-alert regarding his possible loan availability for the 2021/22 campaign, it appears that Stoke could well be one of those.

It would come as absolutely no surprise given the family connection together with his fondness for the club, although O’Neill has already signalled his desire to prioritise permanent acquisitions over temporary loan signings.

That said, the former Northern Ireland boss would be unlikely to turn his nose up at the prospect of capturing one of the most sought-after youngsters in English football, who was the star performer at U23 level last term as he netted 27 goals in just 24 appearances.

Such was his form at Academy level, Pep Guardiola thrust the youngster into the first-team picture at the Etihad Stadium, handing him his first taste of senior football in the EFL Cup victory over Bournemouth in September, a game in which he unsurprisingly scored in.

Guardiola did suggest that Delap’s development would carry on in Manchester next season however, especially given the recent departure of Sergio Aguero.

But suggestions emerging from Manchester are that there could still likely be a deal to be made for the 18-year-old to spend 12 months in the Championship, with regular first-team football, you would think, a necessity for the talented youngster at this crucial next stage of his career.

And how fitting it would be if he was to end up at the bet365 Stadium this summer and go on to play an equally as significant role as his famed father did, in catapulting the club back into the big time!

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