TONY PULIS has revealed that Stoke City have made a move to sign the Dynamo Kiev full-back Goran Popov on a season-long loan deal.
City expect to finalise the agreement on Monday before the 27-year-old Macedonian international heads off to join up with his national squad.
Pulis has been a big admirer of Popov since he performed so well against the Potters in last season’s Europa League Group Stage and the threat he posed pushing forward led to Kiev’s late equaliser in the game at the Lobanovsky Stadium.
“Goran really impressed me last season,” said City’s manager. “He’s an experienced player for his age and he has a great left foot on him.
“Naturally gifted left-sided players are like gold-dust, so he will give us strength in depth down that left hand side which can only improve us.”
He added: “We had him watched when he played in the Europa League against Feyenoord the other night and he did exceptionally well in that game.
“Goran wants to play in the Premier League and he was impressed with us when we played the two games against them in the Europa League.
“It’s a season-long loan, so we have got a good opportunity to see how he adjusts to English football before we make a commitment to signing him.”
Popov, who has won 41 caps for Macedonia, joined Kiev in the summer of 2010 on a five-year contract after spells in Russian, Greek and Dutch football.
Pulis also had more encouraging news of defender Robert Huth concerning his recovery from a bout of viral meningitis which confined him to hospital this week.
The German international has made good enough progress to return home and is expected to make a return to light training some time in the next few days.
“It’s a massive bonus that he has recovered so well because we were really concerned that it was the serious strain at one point,” commented Pulis.
“He’s a bit weak at the moment, so it’s too early to say when he will be back. We’ll have to take it one step at a time, but he’s a tough character and I know he won’t want to miss out on the start of the season if that is at all possible.”