The Daily Star says Crouch was always Pulis’ No.1 target but the stumbling block was Stoke trying to bridge the shortfall in wages.
Pulis has always stressed that the club would not smash their wage structure. But with Spurs desperate to get cash in for the 6ft 7in striker and offload his wages, they have helped smooth through the deal.
Crouch was determined to negotiate a settlement for the three years left on his contract before accepting a £40,000-a-week deal at Stoke, a £30,000-a-week pay-cut.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp had made it clear Crouch’s first-team chances would be limited following the arrival of Emmanuel Adebayor from Manchester City on loan. That, along with the arrival of £6m Scott Parker from West Ham, merely served to crank up the need to offload players.
Crouch made a late dash to Stoke to tie-up the deal.