Stoke are interested in signing West Ham's England striker Dean Ashton, PA Sport understands.
A report on Thursday afternoon has claimed the Potters have opened negotiations with the Londoners over a possible transfer.
Sources at the Britannia Stadium have refused to confirm whether that is the case, however it is clear that City manager Tony Pulis would jump at the chance to sign the former Norwich and Crewe frontman.
Ashton, 25, was tipped to play a starring role in the last Barclays Premier League campaign but he was unable to take the field at all after September 13 due to an ankle injury.
It was the second time that Ashton - who made his England bow against Trinidad and Tobago in June 2008 - had missed almost an entire season.
The striker previously broke his ankle during a training session with the national team and saw 2006-07 wiped out as a result.
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