Robin van Persie, 32, is set for a shock return to English football.
West Ham United are reported to have turned down the opportunity to sign the Dutch international, put off by his wage demands, with Stoke City favourites to sign him. Newly promoted Middlesbrough are also interested, as are Crystal Palace whose manager Alan Pardew has so far been unable to strengthen his goal-shy attack.
As with his time in north London, van Persie endured an injury-riven season in Istanbul but still chipped in with 22 goals in 48 appearances. With his international career over, the Dutchman hasn’t lost his goal-touch.
It kept up his impressive scoring record which has seen him score 234 goals in 508 appearances for Feyenoord, Arsenal and Manchester United before he moved to Fenerbahce last summer.
If van Persie arrives, the Potters will lose Peter Crouch who has become frustrated at no longer being first choice for Mark Hughes. Stoke are still in the hunt for West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino, 22, but face competition once more from Palace.
With the Baggies holding out for £20m, van Persie has emerged as a surprise candidate for both clubs.
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