Stoke manager Tony Pulis has told his players it is “crunch time of the season” – prompting fears of a mass exodus of foreign stars from the Premier League.
With two months of the season left Pulis, whose side specialise in a scrap, is calling on his players to intensify their efforts to avoid relegation.
But the Premier League fear his declaration of intent will lead to foreign stars fleeing the country. Security staff are on alert at all major airports, sea ports and railway stations with a deluge of fragile foreign footballers expected in the coming days.
Stoke face top-four chasing Aston Villa on Saturday and there are calls from Premier League managers to crackdown on their signature move ‘the smash and grab’.
Pullis denied his call to arms represented a genuine call to arms, instead insisting there were no overtly physical or aggressive connotation to his cliché statement.