Stoke City manager Mark Hughes admits that the club have submitted an enquiry for Tottenham Hotspur defender Kevin Wimmer but acknowledges that they are facing stern competition for his signature from more than one Premier League rival.
Wimmer has struggled to establish himself under Mauricio Pochettino since arriving from Cologne in a £4.3m ($5.5m) deal two summers ago and was restricted to just four top-flight starts last term. He remained an unused substitute for each of Spurs' opening 2017-18 fixtures against Newcastle United and Chelsea and now appears to have fallen even further down the defensive pecking order following the club-record arrival of highly-rated young Colombian centre-back Davinson Sanchez from Ajax.
Stoke, Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Southampton have all been linked with his signature over recent weeks along with unnamed suitors from Germany and Italy, while Tony Pulis was recently forced to rebuff speculation that West Bromwich Albion were close to agreeing a £15m deal that could be worth as much as £20m with add-ons.
Hughes completed the permanent signing of former FC Porto loanee Bruno Martins Indi last month and also secured a loan swoop for Chelsea's Kurt Zouma.
The Welshman now appears eager to further strengthen his defensive ranks ahead of Thursday's (31 August) transfer deadline and the Potters have also been mentioned in connection with an £8.5m swoop for Bjorn Engels of Club Brugge.
"We have an interest there, I think along with a number of other clubs apparently," he said of Wimmer during a press conference held before this weekend's trip to West Brom. "As you would imagine. The guy's a good player, but we'll have to see how that pans out and whether or not it's viable. We'll see. We'll probably have a better idea once the weekend's out of the way."
Pressed as to whether or not Stoke had already submitted an official bid, Hughes added: "We've made an enquiry, that's my understanding. We'll wait and see in terms of the response to that. As we stand obviously he's a Tottenham player and they dictate what they feel they need to happen in terms of his future. Obviously the player has a view on that as well."
Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer remained notably coy on reported interest in Wimmer and Tottenham teammate Michel Vorm during his own media appearance on Friday morning, stating only that he needs more players in order to cope with injuries.
"I'm not going to talk about all the maybe rumours, if something happens, you're the first to know," he said, per the Croydon Advertiser. "I can say so many names. We've got a list of goalkeepers that could be suitable for us, but for now I'm focusing on Swansea [on Saturday]. We need some players, because if some get injured we get a bit narrow, but if we don't get players in we have to deal with what we have."