Stoke manager Tony Pulis is hoping to sign England goalkeeper David James in time for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool.
The potential transfer from Portsmouth is being discussed by the clubs' chief executives Tony Scholes and Peter Storrie. Pulis believes James will add to the competition for the number one spot at the Britannia Stadium, although has refused to rule out the chance of Thomas Sorensen leaving as the Dane has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich.
"We'll have to see if the two clubs can come to a deal and we're hoping it will be tied up for the weekend, but it will have to be right for us," said Pulis.
"If we can get him we'll be absolutely delighted because if there's a weakness (in the squad) it's been between the sticks in respect of having competition and back-up.
"We lost Thomas immediately before the Fulham game and if anything had happened to (deputy) Steve Simonsen, then we wouldn't have had a goalkeeper.
"It would have been a tragedy for us, and it really opens up your eyes. So we've an opportunity to bring in a top-class goalkeeper because we have heard he might be available."
With James known to be itching for first-team football to enhance his prospects of playing for England in the World Cup, Pulis feels that strengthens his chances of recruiting the 39-year-old.
"You are signing a goalkeeper of real quality, and if he comes here he has a few months' football to play," added Pulis. "Sorensen has done brilliantly, so they will both be fighting for that one spot, but he (James) has something to prove as well.
"He'll want to be on that plane to South Africa, and that attracts me to him more than anything else. He is desperate to play for England in the World Cup.
"We've heard the rumours that there are clubs in Europe who fancy Thomas, and it makes it more important that we cover ourselves. If Bayern Munich, Manchester United or Chelsea come in for Thomas, he would want to better himself like everybody else does, just like (Cristiano) Ronaldo wanted to go to Real Madrid.
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