Potters face Austin fight
Norwegian side Brann are hoping to secure a new deal for midfielder Rudolph Austin.
By Thomas Zocher
Last Updated: 16/01/09 12:54pm
Norwegian side Brann are hoping to secure a new deal for midfielder Rudolph Austin but Stoke may look to take up their option on the player.
The Potters tried to sign Austin from Jamaican club Portmore United last summer but they were refused a work permit.
The 23-year-old moved to Brann on loan instead and has produced a series of impressive displays, leading to reports that Stoke could be set to rekindle their interest.
Brann understand that Stoke would have first refusal on the player when his loan spell expires at the end of the month.
The Norwegian press has also claimed that Stoke would now find it easier to obtain a work permit, but Brann are eager to keep him.
"We have told his agent that we would like to keep Rudy (Austin) beyond the end of his loan deal with us," Brann director Roald Bruun-Hanssen told Bergensavisen.
"We feel this is an important signal to give.
"We have always been aware that Stoke possess an option to buy him, but that was never a problem for us.
"We are confident of being able to keep Rudy at Brann."
Brann manager Steinar Nilsen added: "Rudy is a player we would definitely like to have with us next season."