STOKE CITY are confident that Geoff Cameron will have his move to the Britannia Stadium rubber-stamped by the granting of a work permit . . . even though it is unlikely to come in time for him to head for England with the rest of the squad later this week.
City’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes has revealed that the Club are currently building the strongest possible case to acquire the necessary documentation for the USA international, but this will probably not be resolved for at least another ten days.
Cameron linked up with City’s squad in Orlando last week where he completed the next stage of his transfer from Houston Dynamo by undergoing a medical.
Now the 27-year-old defender must wait to discover whether the move and the chance to play in the Barclays Premier League will be given the green light.
“We wouldn’t have come this far and worked as hard on getting the deal done if we didn’t think we had a good chance of getting a work permit,” Scholes told Stoke City Player.
“Ideally, he would have had more international caps, which would have made it easier. But the fact that he is a first choice in the US National side will count in his favour.
“Ironically, two other important factors are the difficulty in getting the deal done, because the MLS didn’t want to lose one of their best players, and the move by another Premier League club to come in for him and make it difficult right at the end of the negotiations.”
He added: “It should also work in our favour that Geoff has been in the MLS All Stars XI three times in the past five seasons, voted by his piers as one of the best. In those other two seasons when he wasn’t selected, one was his rookie year and the other he was injured.”
The amount of work that has gone into pushing through the Cameron deal underlines the complexities of modern-day transfers.
“Transfer deals tend to be more complex these days and Geoff’s was very much a new area for us,” explained Scholes. “Not only were we buying from abroad, and we haven’t done that many times, of course, we had the added dimension that we were dealing with Geoff’s club Houston Dynamo and then we were dealing with the MLS as well.
“You also take into account the cultural issues and the different time zones which the negotiation process difficult at times. But the biggest thing was understanding the best way to deal with a situation where the League had the final say over the player.”