Date: 27th December 2010 at 11:28am
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Stoke`s pursuit of winger Jermaine Pennant looks like it could take a lot longer than we hoped, as a resolution to the ongoing negotiations seems quite a way off. Pulis, Coates and Co hope to have a deal in place for January 1st (the day the window opens) so that Jermaine could sign a permanent contract but his parent club, Real Zaragoza, are stubborn in their financial demands.

They want £6million for the former Arsenal winger, which is ludicrous, but Peter Coates and Tony Pulis have both discarded the option of paying that sort of ridiculous money. It was widely reported that we had tabled a bid of £2.6 million, less than half of what the cash strapped La Liga side want, and that probably didn`t go down well at Zaragoza head quarters. Pennant has impressed since his arrival in the summer and does want to make the Potteries his permanent home. However his loan expires on New Years Day and will return to Spain unless the clubs can strike a deal, something the club want to avoid. There is a whole month to do a transfer but ideally Jermaine won`t have to go back to Spain first.

Pulis would love to keep the 27 year-old but he already has his eye on an alternative, should the Pennant deal fall through with Sebastian Larsson heavily linked. The Birmingham winger is stalling on signing a new contract and word is that the Blues may want him off their wage bill. The Swedish midfielder is a very similar player to Pennant, plenty of pace, an eye for goal and a superb final ball. But Pennant remains the number one priority for January and you get the feeling that this will run and run.