Jones: No tension at Stoke

Razvan Rat looks set to complete a free transfer move to West

Ham, according to the player’s agent.

The Romania international’s contract at Shakhtar Donetsk is

expiring and the left-back is believed to have been a target for

the Hammers since the January transfer window.

Agent Florin Manea claims that a deal could be concluded as soon

as Monday with Sam Allardyce a big fan of the 31-year-old

defender.

“I am with Razvan in England, we are negotiating with the West

Ham officials,” Marin told

Sport in Romania.

“We will probably sign the contract on Monday. The trainer has

put him on the top of the wishlist and the owner has approved the

move.”

West Ham have reportedly fought off interest from Marseille by

bettering the deal that the French club could offer the player.

Jones took to Twitter on Saturday night to clarify the

circumstances of an incident that has led to Stoke opening an

internal investigation.

Jones revealed he had spoken to team-mates on Saturday,

including Whelan, after he found a pig’s head wrapped in his

clothes at the Premier League club’s Clayton Wood training ground

on Friday.

The 28-year-old reacted by smashing Whelan’s windscreen, but he

was tonight left to apologise and offer pay for the damage after

the Republic of Ireland international claimed he was not involved

in the prank.

Stoke are yet to make a statement as to whether any player will

be punished for the incident, which came ahead of their final game

at Southampton, with Jones claiming the culprit was still yet to

come forward.

Jones suggested he and Whelan had now moved on from the matter,

denying also that the incident was racially motivated.

Addressing the issue on his Twitter page, Jones wrote: “First

off for all the people saying this had anything to with racism I’m

not endorsing that.

“Secondly i’ve apologised to glen Whelan for the destruction of

his property.

“For all the people that think that the pigs head wrapped in my

clothes was banter great so is the broken window.

“As far as tension in the squad there’s nun (sic) myself and

whelan had our thrash out and he said it wasnt him so I apologised

n im paying for it.

“As for the person who did it no one has come fwd n apologised

to me so I guess the joke was gd then.

“But as I said if you have the belly to take banter to that

level be willing to accept the reaction. Thats final no more

comments.”

Stoke midfielder Brek Shea yesterday tweeted a picture of

himself with the pig’s head with the words “locker room banter gone

wild”.

The incident came just days after retiring striker Michael Owen

had his car covered in eggs and flour by team-mates.

Jones was also involved on that occasion, tweeting a picture of

Owen’s car to his followers with the explanation that it was a

“leaving present” for the former England star.

“For all the ppl that think I did Micheal Owen’s car I didn’t,”

Jones wrote tonight.

“I just posted the pics of it , I was never involved in any of

the pranks in the dressing room.”

Stoke opened an investigation into the matter last night

although they were unavailable for comment when contacted by Press

Association Sport this evening.

“The club takes seriously reports of an incident at our training

ground this afternoon,” the club said in yesterday’s statement.

“A full internal investigation will be carried out and those

responsible for any unacceptable behaviour will be dealt with in

accordance with the club’s disciplinary procedures.”

Whelan and Shea are both doubtful for Sunday’s match at St

Mary’s due to groin and calf injuries respectively, although Jones

has been listed as fit to take his place.