West Ham striker Carlton Cole's Stoke move falls through

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Carlton Cole
Striker Cole has scored 42 goals in 165 appearances

West Ham striker Carlton Cole's move to Stoke has broken down after the player failed to come to an agreement over wages.

The Potters had agreed a fee with the London club earlier in the week for the 27-year-old England player.

"The negotiations did not break down because he asked for too much money," a West Ham spokesman told BBC Sport.

"He was discussing wage parity with other key players and was well within his right to do so."

The Hammers, who were relegated to the Championship last season, added that the Cole has not asked for a transfer.

Stoke chairman Peter Coates confirmed on Tuesday that a fee, believed to be an initial £4m with a possible £2m in add-ons, had been agreed, although he also questioned Cole's fitness.

"Cole has got an injury problem and he's always had that," said Coates.

"That's another risk you take, you have to factor that in. But he's a good player and Tony [Stoke manager Tony Pulis] has always liked him. Managers like different players, don't they? And Tony has always liked him."

West Ham dismissed Coate's comments, insisting "there is no issue in terms of his reported 'injury problems'".

The spokesman added: "An England striker, he played 43 games last season. In fact he has averaged 36 matches a year in the last four campaigns at West Ham United."

The forward joined West Ham from Chelsea in July 2006 and has scored 42 goals in 165 appearances, although he only managed five in the league last season.

It is understood that West Ham will not stand in the way of their England internationals if they wished to move to a top-flight club, although there has yet to be an offer made for their prized midfielder Scott Parker, with reports suggesting he is set to leave Upton Park.

Meanwhile, West Ham are also set to make a decision on whether to sign 32-year-old Iceland striker Eidur Gudjohnsen and 25-year-old midfielder Joey O'Brien, who was released by Bolton at the end of the season, in the next few days.