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The Potters are set for an audacious swoop...

Premier League side Stoke City are interested in bringing Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy back to England, according to reports.

The veteran 33-year old has previously been linked with a move to Liverpool in the current transfer window, after falling down the pecking order at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Sky Sports comments that Stoke chairman, Peter Coates, has revealed that club have made enquiries as to the availability of the Dutch striker, who moved to Los Blancos from Manchester United in the summer of 2006.

Coates said of the potential move, “It may be a long shot, but we have made enquiries and we will see what comes from them.

“It depends on him wanting games to make sure he goes to the World Cup. We are too far away just now to know how realistic our chances are of it happening.”

Van Nistelrooy has missed the majority of the season through injury after sustaining a knee injury in the 2008/09 season, and there are concerns over his long-term fitness.

However, the player is keen to make the trip to South Africa as part of Netherlands’ coach Bert van Marwijk squad, and may be interested in the guarantee of regular action.

Paul Macdonald, Goal.com

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