Stoke City made plenty of new signings this summer as Michael O’Neill tried to create a side that is able to push up the league this season.

Despite interest from elsewhere, the Potters did well to strike a loan deal for Liam Delap from Manchester City.

However, the season hasn’t got off to a good start for the club which saw O’Neill sacked and replaced by Alex Neil, whilst Delap is yet to score after six appearances so far this season.

What the future holds is unknown but with Delap tipped for a big future with Manchester City, it seems as though they may be eager to send him on a more ambitious loan.

What’s more, it’s been suggested that next summer the 19-year-old could be used as a bargaining chip for another deal.

Unsurprisingly, Pep Guardiola’s side have been credited with interest for Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund.

According to The Sun, Bellingham could leave Germany for £83million in the summer providing the fee is paid entirely up front.

There are plenty of clubs in the top flight who are after the youngster but City have done business with Dortmund before including recently signing Manuel Akanji and Erling Haaland.

However, this latest report claims that last summer the German side were interested on signing Delap on loan, prior to the striker completing his temporary move to Stoke.

It has now been suggested that Manchester City could look to use Dortmund’s interest in Delap as a possible negotiating tool that could give them the edge against other teams in the league, in the race for Bellingham.

The Verdict: 

Given the season hasn’t got off to a great start for Stoke, Liam Delap will have to try and get into goal scoring form under his new manager if he is to still be an attractive prospect for Dortmund.

However, the fact that Manchester City think they may be able to use him as a bargaining chip speaks volumes about the talent of the 19-year-old, it’s just about finding that this season.

A move to Dortmund would be a great next step for Delap but as it stands, the Stoke fans may have to enjoy the striker as much as they can this season as it seems unlikely he will be returning next summer.

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