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Stoke Face Struggle to Agree Terms with Assaidi

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Having agreed a transfer fee with Liverpool, Stoke are trying to come to terms with Oussama Assaidi, with the player and club currently some distance apart.

Richard Heathcote

Out of sight, out of mind would seem to describe Oussama Assaidi for most Liverpool fans. Having spent last season on loan with Stoke, he hasn't yet been involved in pre-season as he is still recovering from the knee injury that kept him out for much of the season half of last season. And when he is recovered, few expect him to return to Liverpool.

However, though Stoke are confident of his successful recovery and have agreed a £4M initial fee rising to £7M with all add-ons with Liverpool, they are now struggling to agree to terms due to Assaidi's contract demands. Currently on £30k a week, it is reported he has asked for a raise to £45k to make the switch to Stoke full time. Stoke are reluctant.

"It's on-going and these things happen," said Stoke manager Mark Hughes when asked about the status of what have so far been problematic negotiations for the player following a 2-0 loss to German second division side 1860 TSV Munchen over the weekend. "Everybody knows we are interested and that is still the case."

If the two sides cannot come to an agreement over the player's wages, Stoke are rumoured to be eyeing Nathan Redmond as a backup plan. Given Liverpool's desire to sell, it's also possible the club would subsidize a portion of the difference as they have in previous cases involving players such as Joe Cole.