Stoke have fast become a permanent fixture in the Premier League and you will do well to find anyone who is tipping the Potters to be relegated.
After all, Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson have arrived at the Britannia Stadium on free transfers and City are hopeful of recruiting Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios before the end of this week, with the Stoke chairman confirming that bids have been made for the Tottenham pair.
However, Coates is also adamant that the Staffordshire club won’t negotiate any further when it comes to the asking price of the midfielder and striker, with Spurs now having the decision of whether to allow their players to leave.
He told BBC Radio Stoke: “We’ve made our last bid. The ball is in their court. We shall not be negotiating from where we are.
“The last conversation I had with Spurs, we had not agreed anything. We’ll see what happens, but we haven’t got any further.”
Both Palacios and Crouch would fit into the Stoke style of play, with the Honduran a tough-tackling midfielder who would almost certainly command a first-team place at the Britannia, while Crouch is a seasoned England international who returned to White Hart Lane for £9 million two seasons ago.