Stoke City Captain close to being signed by Turkish club

Turkish top-flight club Gaziantep is reportedly ‘seriously interested’ in signing Stoke City captain Josh Laurent this summer.

Laurent, who joined Stoke from Reading in 2022 and was named captain in 2023, is being highlighted in the Turkish media as a significant transfer target for Gaziantep, who recently finished mid-table.

Now 29 years old, Laurent played a key role for Steven Schumacher towards the end of the season, helping Stoke secure their Championship status. He has one year remaining on his contract at the bet365 Stadium.

Telegraf, in Turkey, claim Gaziantep “have accelerated their transfer efforts… and are waiting for an answer.” It adds: “Gaziantep are seriously interested and have made an offer.”

Luke Cundle celebrates with team-mate Josh Laurent during the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Bristol City at the bet365 Stadium.

Schumacher is not short of numbers in central midfield despite the loan return of Luke Cundle to Wolves and news that Ben Pearson is probably going to be out until October due to injury.

Wouter Burger, Jordan Thompson, Lewis Baker, Daniel Johnson and emerging talent Sol Sidibe will stake their claims to be part of his first team thinking when pre-season starts on Monday.

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