Turkish club 'accelerates' transfer pursuit of Stoke City captain

Luke Cundle celebrates with team-mate Josh Laurent during the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Bristol City at the bet365 Stadium.
-Credit: (Image: Charlotte Tattersall)

Stoke City captain Josh Laurent is being namechecked in the Turkish media as a player of 'serious transfer interest' to Gaziantep, who have just finished mid-table in the top flight.

Laurent joined Stoke from Reading in 2022 and was named skipper in 2023, when there were reports of interest from clubs including Serie A side Frosinone.

Now aged 29, he played a key role for Steven Schumacher towards the end of the season as Stoke secured their Championship status and has one year left on his contract at the bet365 Stadium.

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Telegraf, in Turkey, claim Gaziantep "have accelerated their transfer efforts... and are waiting for an answer." It adds: "Gaziantep are seriously interested and have made an offer."

Schumacher is not short of numbers in central midfield despite the loan return of Luke Cundle to Wolves and news that Ben Pearson is probably going to be out until October due to injury.

Wouter Burger, Jordan Thompson, Lewis Baker, Daniel Johnson and emerging talent Sol Sidibe will stake their claims to be part of his first team thinking when pre-season starts on Monday.

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