Eye Football

Stoke City track Jamie Maclaren

Stoke City track Jamie Maclaren

Jamie Maclaren set for Oz departure?

Stoke City have tabled a bid for Australian international striker Jamie Maclaren. The forward is amongst three players who are on the radar of Stoke manager Mark Hughes for a transfer in the January transfer window.

Maclaren has been with Australia soccer league team Brisbane Roar since 2015 and has scored 26 goals in 36 games since making the move there from Perth Glory. The 23-year-old centre forward is considered one of Australia's brightest young players and numerous Premier League and top European teams have been tracking the young striker for some time. It is understood that Dutch teams NEC and Ajax have been monitoring Maclaren's progress whilst in England Stoke City are competing with West Bromwich Albion for the coveted 5 foot 10 player.

Maclaren has played two games for Australia's national team and has yet to bag his first goal for the first XI, but Maclaren has enjoyed success at every level of youth international football, having played for Australia's under 20's side and also under 23's. The striker also previously played for Scotland's under 19 team but decided against representing the Scottish side in favour for his country of birth.

Stoke City have been tracking Maclaren for over six months, according to reports from Australia, and have even been in contact with Maclaren's agent over the past two months to persuade the player to make a move to England now before his valuation shoots up with another successful Australian domestic programme.

According to reports, Maclaren has told his family that he intends to make a move to Europe in the coming two years but will take his time before making a decision, however Stoke City are desperate to bring in attacking talent having lost faith in the likes of Peter Crouch, Wilfried Bony and John Walters.

In the January transfer window Stoke City are rumoured to be weighing up a 5 million GBP transfer bid for Maclaren but will be prepared to take a risk and pay a little more in the summer instead as the Potters seek to remove Bony and Crouch off of their wage bill in the summer.

It is understood that Stoke City have instructed their agents to prepare a final dossier on Maclaren before making a bid. Over the coming few weeks Maclaren will have important decisions to make before deciding on whether or not to make a transfer away from his home country in search of European top flight football.