Stoke City's move to sign Liverpool's Moroccan wide attacker Oussama Assaidi has been put on hold as the striker recuperates from a knee ligament injury.
The 25-year-old former Herenveen player seemed set to tie down a permanent deal with the Britannia outfit after the Potters manager Mark Hughes expressed his desire to retain him after he staged a convincing start to life in the Premier League under his auspices. However the latest development has thrown a spanner in the negotiations.
"It'll be determined to a large extent by Ozzy himself but more by Liverpool, his present club, they hold the cards," said Hughes last month.
"I think we are a good option for him in terms of where his football is. We would make it happen, we're on the initial stages of discussion."
Liverpool's valuation of the player also proved to be another bottle neck in the deliberations as the Potters were willing to pay a half of the Reds' asking price of £7m, but it was believed that both parties would eventually reach a common ground as the transfer would suit each party's interest.
After failing to nail down a starting spot in Brendan Rodgers' senior team since his £2.4m move from Dutch outfit Herenveen in 2012, his loan switch to Britannia proved to be well timed. He rose to prominence with his maverick and match winning displays against big teams especially his winning goal in their 3-2 scalp over Chelsea in December. He notched five goals in 15 starts and 10 substitute appearances for Stoke City last season.
According to the Stoke Sentinel, Assaidi is in Netherlands for treatment of his knee. However it is believed that Stoke City will revive their interest on the player if he shrugs off the injury.
Since he has a year left in his contract and deemed surplus to the requirements at Anfield, he could be a worthy addition into the offensive fire power on a cheap price.
If his recovery proves to be unforthcoming Hughes will be forced to look elsewhere in his pursuit to replenish his attacking flairs with reports in Portugal already suggesting that the Potters are closing in on Sporting Lisbon's Spaniard Diego Copel. The former AZ Alkamaar striker has 14 appearances in his national colours under his belt.
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