By Dominic Toner
Stoke have opened talks over a deal to sign Robin van Persie, according to a report.
Rangers were installed as favourites to sign the Dutchman last week but he could now seal a return to the Premier League.
Turkish outlet AMK Spor report that Van Persie’s agent Kees Vos has met with Stoke to negotiate a deal as his current side Fenerbahce hold out for a fee of £5million.
The report details that Stoke are yet to submit a formal bid that reaches the Turkish club’s estimation.
Betting company Sky Bet had Rangers as 15/8 favourites to sign Van Persie on Saturday afternoon, with Stoke a relatively distant 11/2.
Van Persie, 33, is regarded as a Premier League all-time great after scoring 166 goals in 336 matches in the competition during his decade at Arsenal and United.
He left Old Trafford after three years last summer to bring to an end his 11-year spell in the Premier League.
But the Mirror reported that van Persie wants a return to British football a year after joining Fenerbahce.
The Dutch striker netted on 16 occasions last term as he helped his side to Champions League qualification, but he has failed to settle down in Turkey and is said to be keen on a return to the country where he played the best football of his career.
Rangers kicked off their new league season on Saturday and despite not managing to land van Persie, named three ex-Premier League stars in the starting line up against Hamilton.
In other Rangers transfer news, they have been dealt a blow as Championship club insist they are not selling their star striker.