Thursday 29 September 2016

Stoke linked with El Ouriachi

Published 15/04/2015 | 12:26

Stoke manager Mark Hughes, pictured, seems set to sign teenage winger Moha El Ouriachi
Stoke manager Mark Hughes, pictured, seems set to sign teenage winger Moha El Ouriachi

Stoke are set to complete their third signing from Barcelona in less than two years, according to the agent of Morroccan winger Moha El Ouriachi.

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Potters manager Mark Hughes, the former Barcelona striker, has already snapped up Bojan Krkic and Marc Muniesa from the Nou Camp and teenager El Ouriachi now looks to be on his way to the Britannia Stadium this summer.

The 19-year-old Barcelona B player is apparently keen to seek first-team action rather than extend his contract with the Spanish giants.

"We thank Barca for the deal they offered the player and the efforts they have gone to try to renew his contract," El Ouriachi's agent, Raul Verdu, told Catalan newspaper Sport.

"But another proposal was really interesting on both a professional and economic level.

"Moha has the option of joining the first team squad at Stoke and that was irresistible."

El Ouriachi has represented Spain at youth level and Sport reported that Stoke have agreed to pay the necessary training compensation to bring the pacey left winger to the Barclays Premier League.

Both Bojan and Muniesa have settled well at Stoke, although the former - who had scored five goals in 18 appearances following his shock move last summer - was ruled out for the rest of the season after damaging cruciate knee ligaments in an FA Cup tie at Rochdale in January.

Defender Muniesa has made nearly 40 appearances since joining from Barcelona in the summer of 2013 but has not featured since tearing a hamstring in the FA Cup defeat at Blackburn in February.

Peter Odemwingie hopes to play for Stoke again before the end of the season after battling back from a serious injury.

The Nigerian striker, who made a significant impact during the second half of last season when he joined the Potters in a swap deal with Kenwyne Jones, has been out with cruciate knee ligament damage since the end of August.

"I'm joining the team (in training) again and it's a big step in my rehab," Odemwingie told Sky Sports News HQ.

"It's just a bit over six months and I'm really pleased because it's a bit earlier than some players.

"I hope to be mentally right but it looks OK.

"I'm not scared and hopefully I can get one or two games before the end of the season."

Odemwingie, 33, scored five goals in 15 games after joining from Cardiff in January 2014 but was injured soon after playing for Nigeria at last summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Hughes has confirmed Victor Moses is unlikely to play again this season.

The winger, who has spent the season on loan from Chelsea and has made 23 appearances for the Potters, suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury in last weekend's 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw at West Ham.

It is understood Hughes will press ahead with plans to sign the Nigeria international on a permanent basis this summer but, for now, the 24-year-old has returned to his parent club for treatment.

"It may well be that Victor's season is over unfortunately because of the type of injury he has got," Hughes told the club's official website, www.stokecityfc.com.

"He might get back but at the moment we're probably thinking that he won't make it.

"It's a shame because Victor has done really well since he's been with us.

"He was our shining light in the early part of the season and then unfortunately he got a couple of quite serious injuries that held him back, and in the end he hasn't been able to finish the season with us.

"He'll look back on his time with us and think he's made an impression and done well and we'd agree with that because he's been a really important figure for us this season."

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