Date: 27th August 2008 at 10:36am
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Stoke are reported to be finalising a season long loan deal with French club, Lens to sign Ivory Coast star Kanga Akale.

The 27 year old attacking midfielder is also seen as a pacey winger, (something that the Potters are in dire need of) and has been on loan at Marseilles since signing a four year deal with the French club a year ago.

Lens were relegated from Ligue 1 at the end of last season and need to reduce their wage bill, so the deal would suit both clubs and the player told Sky Sports that he would jump at the chance of English Premier League football: ‘My agent is conducting everything and I can’t say anything yet but it will be a dream to play in the English league,’

‘It is the best league and Stoke City can give me that chance to make a name for myself in England.’

The loan deal also allows the option of it becoming permanent should we avoid relegation. If he doesn’t have an EU passport, he’ll need a UK work permit, but with 33 caps under his belt and the Ivory Coast ranked 25th in the FIFA rankings, this should be a formality.

With the transfer window closing next Monday at midnight Stoke appear hopeful of bringing in at least a couple more players.