Stoke target Cole on Swiss trip

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West Ham striker Carlton Cole has flown out to Switzerland amid reports claiming he is close to a return to the Barclays Premier League with Stoke.

The 27-year-old joined fellow England internationals Rob Green and Scott Parker as part of the Hammers' 26-man squad that travelled to Switzerland on Friday for a six-day training camp.

Despite joining Sam Allardyce's men at their base near Bern, reports emerged today suggesting Stoke manager Tony Pulis is set to make Cole his first summer signing in a £4.5million deal, which could eventually rise to £6million depending on whether several clauses are triggered.

The former Chelsea striker was reportedly subject of a £3million bid from the Potters last weekend and could now become the next high-profile departure from the relegated Hammers after fellow frontman Demba Ba joined Newcastle.

QPR were also thought to be monitoring Cole's availability but he could now be set for a move to the Britannia Stadium, which may end Pulis' pursuit of Birmingham forward Cameron Jerome.

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Carlton Cole
Stoke City
Scott Parker
Premier League
Newcastle United
Cameron Jerome
Queens Park Rangers
Demba Ba
West Ham United
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