Sunderland deny Stoke claim of bid for Ricardo Fuller

Stoke striker Ricardo Fuller has asked for permission to speak to Sunderland as confusion surrounds the striker's future.

Potters manager Tony Pulis today stated the Black Cats had made a bid and also confirmed the player had asked to talk to the Wearsiders.

Sources at the Stadium of Light have dismissed the claim as "nonsense" but Pulis claimed discussions between the two clubs were continuing, while he had already spoken to Fuller - who was at the club's training ground this morning having been absent yesterday because of illness.

When asked whether the 31-year-old had asked for permission to speak to Sunderland, Pulis replied: "Yes, of course. We've had a chat together, we've sat down and spoken about it.

"He knows what's going on. In today's modern world everyone knows what's going on before it's going on.

"He knows the score and what it's about."

Pulis had earlier told his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Wolves: "Sunderland have made an offer and both clubs are talking.

"But it is not just Sunderland, other clubs are interested.

"Ric has been here five-and-a-half years but if someone comes in and makes a 'worldy' offer which benefits him for the rest of his life and we can't match it then we as a football club have a responsibility to, and a respect for, the lad.

"If we think it is beneficial for us as well as Ricardo then we'll get the deal done.

"Ric has been a fantastic player at this club. We've looked after him and done very well for him and he's done well for us.

"If he has the opportunity to go somewhere else which will secure his future for the rest of his life then we have to take his personal views into account.

"There comes a time - there has been stuff going on behind the scenes - and he has an opportunity to do very well for himself."

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