BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Carlton Cole of West Ham United shoots to score the opening goal during the Carling Cup Semi Final Second Leg match between Birmingham City and West Ham United at St Andrews on January 26 2011 in Birmingham England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Carlton Cole's Stoke Switch Falls Through

Although Stoke City and West Ham United had agreed a £6M deal for Carlton Cole, the striker's wage demands were too high for a transfer.

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Carlton Cole's Move To Stoke Falls Through

Carlton Cole's proposed move to Stoke City has fallen through after the West Ham forward failed to agree personal terms with the Potters. The England international, who saw relegation last year as the Hammers finished dead last in the Premier League, was apparently set to move to Stoke on a £M deal, but he'll be returning to London, at least until another club wants to go sifting through Premier League reject teams for strikers who can't score goals. The BBC have quoted a West Ham spokesman discussing why exactly the move didn't work:

The negotiations did not break down because he asked for too much money. He was discussing wage parity with other key players and was well within his right to do so.

So... he asked for too much money, then? Seems like an odd choice of words there. Anyway, it's pretty clear that Cole makes too much money to stay in the nPower Championship, but he might not really be good enough for the Premier League. It's a bit of a dilemma for West Ham.

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Carlton Cole Moves To Stoke City For £6M

Carlton Cole is headed back to the Premier League following relegation with West Ham United, and Stoke City are his destination. Tony Pullis has apparently agreed a £6M deal with the now-Championship club, with £4.5M to be paid up front and the rest in performance clauses. Cole, 27, scored just five league goals in the 2010/11 season, and despite being held in fairly high regard for a very long time has never really hit the heights his potential as a Chelsea youth player promised.

As strikers go, Cole's game doesn't really result in a lot of goals - he's only barely reached double-digits in his top three seasons, but he should be able to hold up play reasonably well, a benefit in the type of team that plays more than its fair share of long balls forward. And if he doesn't work out for the Potters, it's not as though 4.5M is a particularly high prove to play for a Premier League 'proven' striker, is it?

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