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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Ready Brek?

TONY PULIS has confirmed that deadline day acquisition Brek Shea has returned to the Club . . . after completing the formalities of his move from the United States this week.

The 22-year-old American international put pen to paper on a four-and-a-half year contract at the Britannia Stadium last Thursday evening, after the Potters, FC Dallas and the MLS agreed upon a £2.5 million deal.

The winger was forced to fly back to the States soon after penning the deal though to conclude his application for a work permit and visa, however, they have now both been ratified meaning Shea is eligible to make his City debut.

Pulis is clearly delighted to have the highly rated attacker available to him, but stopped short of confirming whether he would thrust him straight into the firing line against Reading on Saturday.

"He (Brek) should be in today so that will make him available for Saturday, but we will need to assess him and see what the situation is with him," he said at Thursday's pre-match press conference.

"He had to go back to the US to get his permit and visa sorted, which isn't ideal, but we are expecting him back in today for training which is good news.

"We would like him to be fit and ready to go, but we will have to have a look at him, just as we will with a few of the other lads who have been away on international duty."

Eight players were competing for their countries on Wednesday evening, as qualification and preparations for the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil took centre stage.

The likes of Charlie Adam, Glenn Whelan and Jonathan Walters were in action around the United Kingdom, but Geoff Cameron (USA) and Kenwyne Jones (Trinidad and Tobago) undertook much longer journeys, casting a doubt over their potential inclusion in this weekend's starting eleven.

"It's frustrating because we have had a busy Christmas and New Year period, we've had a few midweek games and the transfer window, and when all of that is finally cleared up, players have to go off flying all 
around the world," Pulis added.

"It's not ideal, but we have to just get on with it. It would have been nice to have had them here this week, getting them ready for the game, but we will just have to see what sort of condition they are in over the 
next 24 hours."

Meanwhile, Marc Wilson has suffered no reaction to his first outing since breaking his leg back in October, and the City boss was understandably delighted to have seen the defender come through Tuesday's behind-closed-doors friendly unscathed.

"It was fantastic to see Marc back out there again, because we really have missed him," he added. "The balance of the team hasn't been right since he picked up the injury, so we do need him back quickly.

"I really do rate him as one of the best footballers at this Football Club, so the sooner he is available, then the better it is for everybody."

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