Stoke manager Tony Pulis is set to fly home from the Potters’ pre-season tour of Austria in an effort to finally seal the deal for Carlton Cole.
The Potters boss has been relentless in his pursuit of Cole, which club chairman Peter Coates revealing it's taken three years to get to this stage since their first enquiry over the England international striker.
But the reported £6 million deal is still in danger of falling through, with the two parties currently unable to agree personal terms over the move.
Pulis will fly back to the UK this week in order to convince the 27-year-old that a move to the Britannia Stadium is worth his while.
Coates said: “We have agreed a deal with West Ham, that's done, it's now about agreeing with Carlton and his agent. We're still on the case. The team is away at the moment and will be back on Thursday. Tony (Pulis) likes to be around for these things.
“We've done a deal with the club, it now needs his input with the player - because he likes to talk to them and make sure they aren't bored and he's not bored and everything is okay from his point of view. We see that as work in progress and hope something can be done.”
Last week, it was reported that Stoke were also struggling in negotiations with Cameron Jerome and Scott Dann, and the chairman admitted that personal terms were causing the Potters problems as they looked to strengthen their squad for the forthcoming campaign.
Coates added: “It is my understanding we were very close to a deal but then you still have to sort things out with the players. These things can take forever.
“You have to have other irons in the fire because so many things can go wrong.
“Sometimes you think you have a deal and it doesn't happen. As one agent once said ‘the truth today may not be the truth tomorrow’.”