Stoke confident they’ve beaten eight rivals to former Man Utd man

Stoke City are hopeful they have won the race for Nick Powell, fending off a host of Premier League and Championship rivals.

Stoke have made an offer to 25-year-old Powell, who is out of contract at Wigan this summer and is available for nothing and Potters chief Nathan Hughes sees him a crucial piece in their jigsaw for next season.

We can reveal that Brighton, Burnley, Newcastle, Sheffield Wednesday, Derby, Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Scottish champions Celtic have all spoken to Powell, but it seems Stoke are in pole position.

The Potters are also believed to be in talks over a deal to bring Glenn Whelan back to the club as a player/coach after he was last week handed a free transfer at Premier League new boys Aston Villa.