Stoke captain set to move to Anfield.
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Ryan Shawcross could be leaving Stoke for Liverpool after it emerged manager Tony Pulis is keen on Uruguay World Cup defender Mauricio Victorino.
The 28-year-old currently plays for Universidad de Chile in South America but is keen on a move to the Premier League.
And while Potters fans will be excited by the prospect of a World Cup semi-finalist at their club, supporters’ groups may not be so enamoured with losing star man Shawcross as a result.
The centre-back, 23, has been linked with Liverpool for several months, as well as Spurs and even a return to former club Manchester United, but it seems Roy Hodgson is heading the current queue.
However, Shawcross’ move depends on Pulis being able to draft in Victorino – or an alternative central defender – as cover in January.
The Uruguyan is highly-rated by several Premier League scouts and his price-tag is unlikely to be a stumbling block, given the finances available to the Stoke boss next year.
The club are desperate to retain their top-flight status and would be more than willing to sanction a £2million move for Victorino.
The only concern is Victorino’s stature – he’s 5ft 9in, which is considered to be very much on the short side for a defender in England. (Metro)
Ryan Shawcross ticks a lot of boxes for Liverpool.
At the age of 23 he could have ten years of top level football in him, and he is an established Premier League player in one of the most organised back lines in the country.
To the naked eye he also seems quicker off the ground than the current Liverpool centre backs of Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Sotirios Kyrgiakos, which would mean that the Reds defence wouldn’t have to sit so deep all the time.
There are some negatives though to this potential signing.
Whether his hard tackling game is cut out for the more niggly refereeing in European competition is a different matter, and Shawcross is also yet to prove himself against the best defenders in the Premier League.
Against the big four sides that are Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea, Stoke have only won two match since their return to the Premier League – a 2-1 win over Arsenal in the last campaign and of course the 2-0 triumph over Liverpool on November 13th this season at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke are also quite unlikely to let their captain leave unless he shows a desire to do so, and a 5’9″ centre back doesn’t seem the likeliest of signings for arguably the most physically imposing team in the country.
Mauricio Victorino is a fine reader of the game, as well as possessing an outstanding leap reminiscent of Fabio Cannavaro and Ivan Cordoba. At £2m he would be a decent signing for any side, but a move to Stoke City would appear to be a change in transfer policy for the Potters, and thus seems an unlikely acquisition for Tony Pulis’ side.
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