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Tom Edwards in limbo as Stoke and Red Bulls negotiate terms of loan deal

English defender was not part of squad for Barcelona friendly on Saturday night

MLS: New York Red Bulls at FC Cincinnati
There’s a new tug of war surrounding Tom Edwards according to sources.
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Edwards may be near the end of his New York Red Bulls loan stint — but could he also be near the beginning of a permanent career in the Big Apple?

Edwards was left out of Gerhard Struber’s New York squad for Saturday night’s friendly against FC Barcelona amidst new negotiations regarding his loan from boyhood club Stoke City. Sources with knowledge of the situation tell OaM that the versatile defender is desired by Stoke to be a part of Michael O’Neill’s squad as the English Championship season gets in swing over the coming weeks.

It is understood that Stoke, who have loaned the Stafford-born Edwards to New York for the last two seasons, are requesting that the Red Bulls commit to a permanent deal where the MLS club will cover all of Edwards wages if he is to stay in New York. A Red Bulls spokesperson declined to comment on the situation.

Despite his loan status, Edwards has emerged as a key pillar of the Red Bulls project during his now two-year loan stint in MLS. Edwards has been a fixture in Gerhard Struber’s lineup as a right-sided center back and occasional right fullback, playing 20 of 22 league matches for New York this season. The team appeared to miss the Englishman’s confident defending and communication skills in their Open Cup unraveling in Orlando on Wednesday night, and it appears they risk losing his presence for the remainder of the calendar as well if a deal cannot be reached.