Stoke City will make their first foreign signing from overseas since 2009 if they sign VVV Venlo striker Michael Uchebo for £1.5million, but work permit problems threaten to block the deal.
The Nigerian striker, likened to fellow-countryman Kanu, but also dubbed ‘the African Peter Crouch’ for his 6 foot 6 inch height, is currently on trial with the Potters while boss Tony Pulis takes a closer look at the 21-year-old.
Uchebo, an Under-20 international has only managed to score once in 13 appearances this season in Holland’s Eredivisie and is keen to complete a dream move to England.
“My game and my physique are set for English football,” Uchebo told Sky Sports. “Tony Pulis loves strong athletes but quality ones as well.
“Guys like Peter Crouch and Fuller have decent technique. Hopefully the deal can go through and I will get my work permit and play my football on the bigger stage.
“VVV Venlo is a good starting point in the Eredivisie but the Premier League is a top league and a dream league for anyone who plays football.”
The Potters signed five players in Jonathan Woodgate, Matthew Upson, Peter Crouch, Cameron Jerome and Wilson Palacios for a total of around £20m last summer. But Pulis, who has been known to stay clear of buying players from abroad, told reporters: “He’s over here, so we’ll have a bit of a chat and take things from there.”
The striker’s move to the Britannia Stadium would also be subject to a work permit, and, according to some sources, a clamp down by the Home Office on certain cases could block the move.