As Jonathan Walters began to lose hope in his desperate fight against the red-and-white tentacles of Stoke determined to keep him tied to the Britannia from one more year, a cape-clad Claudio Ranieri has staged a late rescue mission.
Flying in from across the midlands, the Italian comes dressed in underpants on the outside of trousers adorning a Leicester City badge and armed with a briefcase containing a sum slightly below the Potters’ £3m valuation of the Republic of Ireland international.
Stoke have already fought off a similar attempt from Norwich, though it has been suggested the Canaries might up their offer for the forward on deadline day.
Mark Hughes may have his hands full as he clings onto the 31-year-old, with another, unnamed Premier League club also a part of the fast-growing ‘Free Jon Walters’ movement.
As far as the betting is concerned, Stoke will lose their battle to hang on to the player, with Norwich even-money favourites to house him come September 2nd.
Both the Potters and Leicester are rated as 2/1 to be his paymasters when tomorrow dawns.
West Brom may well be the anonymous outfit in the hunt, with a cash injection in the market prompting their price to tumble from 33/1 to 8/1.
Whatever happens, it’s almost certain Walters will be remaining in the Premier League, which is terrible news for Arsenal and Liverpool.
The Merseyside-born wide man has frequently savaged the backlines of both outfits throughout his top-flight tenure and the pair could’ve been forgiven for hoping his old age and soon-to-expire contract situation would see him shipped off to the Championship.
Walters has bagged in each of Stoke’s last three wins against Arsenal, while he has five in five home matches versus Liverpool.
Glenn Woodage, a bookie at bwin.com said:
“The market slightly favours Norwich, but a late bid from Leicester could see the Walters saga deviate once more.”
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