Bould could replace Pulis at Stoke

The Mirror claims that Arsenal assistant manager Steve Bould could be a surprise name to replace Tony Pulis at Stoke if the 55-year-old leaves the Potters.

With Stoke in apparent freefall and battling against relegation having been near the European places at Christmas, there is mounting pressure and a growing feeling that Pulis may walk away from the Britannia Stadium if he is not sacked first, and it is believed that the board have braced themselves for a managerial search looming on their short term horizon.

Bould was born in Stoke and played over 200 games for the club before joining Arsenal in 1988, where he made almost 300 appearances before joining Sunderland briefly before retiring.

Other names being considered would include former Chelsea team-mates Roberto di Matteo and Gus Poyet.

Despite Pulis having a good relationship with Stoke owner Peter Coates, the latter is being encouraged to inject a new face into the hotseat and breathe fresh life into a club who had previously been seen as a solid presence in the Premier League for several years.

There are also calls for more youth in the squad, with the aim of taking the club down the route of focusing on homegrown players as opposed to importing individuals who have come through the academies of other clubs.

Pulis has been seen as a fantastic manager during his seven-year stay at Stoke, but many feel that his reign is “coming to a natural conclusion” – as the club seek to find better value in the transfer market too.

A report last week indicated that the club are spending around 75% of their turnover on the wage bill, despite the fact that a number of recent signings are not considered to have proven good value for money.

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