According to FIFA’s transfer rules, a player is eligible to switch clubs twice on a permanent basis in one transfer window. While the rule was set as a precaution to stop random repeated transfers of footballers, the norm has always seen a player make one move in one window.
Contracts are signed, the player is introduced to the fans and the media and t-shirts are sold making the buying of a player a matter of professional business in today’s market. Yes, sometimes, the younger players who are signed are loaned out, more often than not back to their former club but 25-year-old first team strikers are rarely seen moving twice in one window.
However, in a bizarre turn of events, that may be the case here with Benik Afobe. The former Bournemouth striker spent the second half of the last season on loan at Wolves and impressed with the Championship winning side.
He was effective and created such an impact at the club that Nuno Espirito Santo and the Wolves’ board sanctioned a permanent deal for him from Bournemouth this summer for a fee of £12.5 million. It has hardly been a fortnight since the striker moved and it seems he already has a new suitor.
Stoke City, formerly of the English Premier League and current Sky Bet Championship club are interested in signing the DR Congo international. It is being reported that Stoke, who lost their Premier League status last month, are now keen to bring in Afobe as they view him as the perfect option to lead their attack.
Stoke themselves have a lot of selling to do to balance their wage books after being demoted and they might lose the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Jack Butland. That will allow them a measurable amount to financially sanction a move for a new forward like Afobe.
However, the selling of the player still remains a highly improbable scenario given that Wolves are in no situation to force a sell. They recently signed the player and the DR Congo forward will certainly not be handing in a transfer request to go back to the Championship.
Wolves’ first team striker Leo Bonatini’s loan spell has ended and there is no news regarding an extension of his deal and that leaves Santo with Afobe as his first-choice striker. Hence, even though Stoke might be interested, Wolves will certainly not want to or have to sell their striker.