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Stoke to test Newcastle resolve over Carroll

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis intends to test Newcastle United's resolve with a bid for Andy Carroll.

The Daily Mail says Pulis has made the England Under 21 striker his priority signing for the summer but he will be stonewalled by Newcastle, who are desperate to keep a striker who could be named their new No 9 in the next month.

Carroll grabbed 17 league goals for the Championship champions last season in his first full year of first team football and Stoke, Bolton and Birmingham were all frequent visitors to St James's Park.

The 22-year-old, who is facing a trial for an assault charge at crown court later in the year, would prefer to stay on Tyneside and tentative talks have been held over a new contract.

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