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Crouch set for Premier League return with Burnley in Vokes swap deal

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Crouch set for Premier League return with Burnley in Vokes swap deal
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Coventry City vs Stoke City - Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Britain - January 6, 2018 Stoke City's Peter Crouch in action Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine/File Photo   -   Copyright  Carl Recine(Reuters)
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By Simon Evans

BURNLEY, England (Reuters) – Former England international Peter Crouch is set to return to the Premier League at the age of 38 with the forward expected to join Burnley from Stoke City with Wales striker Sam Vokes heading in the opposite direction.

Burnley said the deal, with Vokes valued at around 9 million pounds according to British media reports, was “close” to being wrapped up ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Crouch was part of the Stoke team relegated to the second tier Championship last season but has not started a game since September.

Neither transfer has yet been completed but both are expected to be done before Thursday’s transfer deadline with only the small-print to be finalised.

“The Clarets are close to completing deals to sign Peter Crouch and let Sam Vokes move to Stoke City in a striking re-shuffle at Turf Moor,” Burnley said on their official website.

Former Tottenham and Liverpool forward Crouch, has played for six Premier League clubs in his career and scored 108 top flight goals.

Crouch won 42 caps for England, scoring 22 goals between 2005 and 2010.

Despite his age, Burnley manager Sean Dyche believes the lanky forward can be useful in his team’s battle against relegation.

“There’s no issue about his fitness and I think he has an intention and a desire to still make a mark in football,” he said.

“We know what a good character he is and he still has that edge. We know he’s an effective footballer and he has a hunger to come here and make a mark,” he added.

Vokes who waved goodbye to Burnley fans after the 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday, has struggled to secure a regular starting place of late at Turf Moor.

The Wales international won two promotions to the Premier League with Burnley in his seven seasons with the club, scoring 62 goals in 258 appearances.

The 29-year-old joined the club from Wolverhampton Wanderers and was part of the Wales team which reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

“Sam has proved what a good player he has been for us,” said Dyche.

“He has not played as regularly lately and he was a little bit frustrated with that. He wanted a new challenge and this is an opportunity for him that could work out in many ways.

“I put great value in Sam as a player and a person for what he’s done for himself and the club,” he added.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis)

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