Stoke are set to sign midfielder Darren Fletcher on a two-year deal for free after the player failed to agree terms on a new contract at West Brom.
Losing Fletcher is a massive blow for West Brom but to lose him on a free and to a rival like Stoke who are of a similar stature in the Premier League is even worse.
But it doesn’t stop there in terms of how bad a blow this is for West Brom, as the manager, Tony Pulis, wanted to keep him, he’s the club captain, a highly experienced player, a winner having spent 12 years at Manchester United where he won five Premier League titles and the Champions League among others, and last season he appeared in all 38 of West Brom’s Premier League games (37 starts and one appearance of the bench) showing just how integral he was to the team.
This is one of those situations where you wonder if there is going to be a wider fallout from it because you have to imagine that Pulis is not happy about losing such a key player (for free!) and with all the speculation over his future when the new owners took over… well it wouldn’t be a shock from here if there is a change of manager at the club.
As for Stoke, this is a great signing. A major coup. We’ve said plenty of times in our Premier League wrap up videos that this is going to be a big summer for Mark Hughes as Stoke boss after a disappointing season and what better way to start it than with a great signing like Fletcher and on a free as well.