Premier League club enter four-team race for West Ham 27-year-old months after new deal - report
By Tom Blackburn
Stoke have joined West Brom in the race to sign West Ham defender James Tomkins, according to a report.
Tomkins has fallen down the pecking order under manager Slaven Bilic and is keen to play at a club that can guarantee him regular Premier League football.
The Daily Mail claim Stoke and West Brom are leading the chase but Tomkins is also on the wishlist of Crystal Palace and Sunderland.
Tomkins, 27, signed a new five year deal at the end of last summer than runs until 2020.
Stoke manager Mark Hughes reportedly wants Tomkins to be the long term partner of Ryan Shawcross at the heart of the Potters’ defence, while former Stoke bosss Tony Pulis is hoping he can help maintain West Brom’s impressive defensive record.
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The Baggies conceded just 48 times this season, making them the only team outside the top six to concede less than 50 goals.
As an academy product Tomkins is a favourite among Hammers fans, and many would be eager to see the centre-back, who can also play at right-back, stay in east London.
He signed his first professional contract with his boyhood club in 2007, and his only previous time spent away from the club was a one-month loan spell with Derby in 2008.
Despite not being as involved as previous seasons, the former England Under-21 played 25 times in the league as West Ham secured a spot in the Europa League.
In other West Ham news, West Brom are set to approach them about a swap-deal involving their striker.