Jermaine Pennant’s pre-season has not got off to the greatest of starts as he was again refused entry to the United States of America to link up with the rest of the Stoke team on the pre-season tour.
Pennant, who signed a contract offered to him by new manager Mark Hughes when it looked like he would be released, has had to stay in the United Kingdom to continue his own preparations ahead of the new campaign.
The midfielder is unable to obtain a work permit in America due to his previous criminal convictions over a drink-driving offence, with a similar situation occurring this time last year.
The Potters are on a three-game tour of Texas and Philadelphia before they return home to prepare for their opening Premier League encounter with Liverpool, with the lunchtime kick-off getting the new season underway.
But Pennant will have to remain on these shores and train with the Under-21 side until the rest of the squad return.
Hughes’ attempt to sign former Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf appears to have come to nothing as his current club Hannover are demanding £6m before they will let him speak with the Senegalese frontman.
Stoke have been praised over the last few days after they announced free travel to away games for their fans. The move comes as part of the extra revenue created from the new deal between the Premier League and Sky/BT Sport, with club owner Peter Coates looking for ways to repay the fans for their loyal support.