U's snap up striker Parker

BY foxsports • December 21, 2012

AC Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri will move to sign a new striker should Alexandre Pato and Robinho be sold in January.

The Brazilian forwards have both been linked with a return to their homeland, with Pato reported to be the subject of an approach from Corinthians, as Robinho continues talks over a switch to boyhood club Santos.

Allegri would not be drawn on a possible replacement, distancing himself from approaches for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and Paris St Germain playmaker Javier Pastore.

But he admitted his remaining Rossoneri strikers Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini and M'Baye Niang would certainly need support.

He told acmilan.com: "If Pato and Robinho leave we'll need another striker because we need five.

"I suppose 32 squad players is too many. Not for me as much but for them as they tend to get excluded from the team. It's right that they leave to play elsewhere.

"Nothing has changed regarding Pato in the last month. We'll wait for Christmas and for (vice-president Adriano) Galliani to go to Brazil.

"Talking about his leaving at the moment makes no sense. He has extraordinary qualities but we'll wait and see.

"I've never trained Balotelli and until I do I can't pass judgment on him. He's a Manchester City player and there's no point talking about him.

"He showed be allowed to grow and (City manager) Mancini is doing that very well. I don't think that Pastore will be allowed to leave PSG."

The Potters have had their fair share of success against Spurs since being promoted to the top flight in 2008, winning four and drawing one of nine meetings between the two sides in league and cup.

That has included some fruitful away days for Tony Pulis' men, who were only denied victory in north London last season by Rafael van der Vaart's stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw and in 2009-10, triumphed there 1-0.

Whelan scored the winner on that occasion and although Tottenham have been victorious in each of their last five home games in all competitions, the Republic of Ireland international is optimistic about Stoke's prospects tomorrow.

"It will be very difficult because Spurs are terrific at home," Whelan said.

"But we have had a couple of results down there. It is a great place to go if you can get a result."

Tottenham are currently fourth in the table and look to be finding their feet under boss Andre Villas-Boas, the man appointed as successor to Harry Redknapp over the summer.

Their star of the season so far has been England striker Jermain Defoe, scorer of 13 goals for the club this term, but Whelan is keen to stress that there is quality throughout the Spurs side.

"At the moment Defoe is scoring lots of goals and doing really well, but they have 11 really great players and we have to watch out for all of them," Whelan said.

"Villas-Boas has come in after leaving Chelsea and he has got his own ideas.

"I think of late you have seen with Spurs' results and how they are playing that they have been doing well, so it is going to be a tough game."

Stoke have been in good form themselves, with last weekend's 1-1 home draw with Everton extending their unbeaten run to seven matches.

Lying ninth at the moment, the Potters have a maiden top-10 Premier League finish firmly in their sights, with the possibility of claiming a European spot something Whelan is certainly not ruling out.

"I think we have started off really well," Whelan said.

"Results have gone for us, but there is still a long way to go until the end of the season.

"I think we need to just concentrate on each game as it comes.

"It would be great if we could get into Europe through our league position.

"Hopefully we will be there or thereabouts - we definitely want to kick on."

Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam is set to miss tomorrow's contest having been granted compassionate leave following the death of his father this week.

Defender Ryan Shotton is available for selection again with his one-game suspension now completed, but it is expected the Spurs match will come too soon for striker Michael Owen to make his first-team return after his recent injury problems.

Potts joined the U's from the Hammers towards the end of November and will now remain with the League One club until January 27 2013.

Potts has made three appearances for Joe Dunne's side and the extension means he will be available for another eight matches.

The first of those fixtures is the away game at Walsall on Saturday and he has been included in the travelling party.

West Brom midfielder Allan has made six appearances since returning for a second spell with Pompey in October, scoring in a home defeat to Leyton Orient.

Striker Jervis has played three times since arriving from Birmingham in November, netting an equaliser in a 2-2 draw against league leaders Tranmere earlier this month.

Both deals run up to and include the League One fixture at Walsall on Friday January 4.

With Jon-Paul Pittman out for 12 weeks with a dislocated shoulder and Deane Smalley still recovering from a groin injury ahead of four games in 11 days over the Christmas period, James Constable and Tom Craddock were the only experienced strikers at the club.

But now Antigua international Parker joins youngster Tyrone Marsh in providing manager Chris Wilder with more options.

"Josh has done well in training and now he gets a chance to show us what he can do over a slightly longer period," Wilder told the club's official website.

"Deane Smalley and JP Pittman are both out so we needed cover over the busy Christmas period and Josh is hungry to come in and impress."

Parker started his career at QPR, making five senior appearances for the Hoops before a permanent switch to Oldham for the start of the 2011/12 season. He played in 15 matches for the Latics.

The 22-year-old, who can play on either flank or in the middle of the front line, is expected to go straight into the squad for Saturday's League Two fixture against Fleetwood.


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