Stoke are reportedly preparing a move for versatile Hamburg defender Michael Mancienne, according to the Mirror.
The former Chelsea youth product has spent two years in Germany but now appears interested in a move back to the Premier League.
He could be the ideal solution to Stoke's threadbare defensive cover, as he is capable of playing anywhere across the back four, as well as in midfield. The 25-year-old may be available on loan or for a relatively small sum, which would comply with Stoke's rumoured budget restrictions this window.
Hamburg are believed to be keen to remove former England Under-21 international Mancienne from their wage bill in order to bring in new talent.
Although Mancienne only made five senior appearances for Chelsea, he does have additional Premier League experience following three loan spells with Wolves, two of them during their stint in the top division.
Manager Mark Hughes is also believed to be chasing a striker, but has denied suggestions that he would be willing to allow Peter Crouch to leave the club in January.
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