It may appear as if Mark Hughes is attempting to answer every "But can he do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke?’' question at once as he attempts to sign an incredible fifth Barcelona player.
The Welsh manager has revealed that the club have held discussions with Barcelona regarding a move for highly rated attacker Adama Traore.
The midfielder had looked set for a move to Liverpool just over a week ago but this was dismissed by the Mersyside club. Stoke will now look to take advantage of the quality at Barcelona by poaching the rarely used 19-year-old.
Hughes told Sky Sports earlier today: “He [Traore] is somebody we have had discussions with but there has been no progress on that front yet.”
Stoke City or Barcelona B?
Times have changed since Hughes’ appointment at The Potters, once known for their aggressive and direct style of football, they now favour a more technical game.
Traore would join Marc Muniesa, Bojan Krkic, Moha El Ouriachi and Ibrahim Afellay as the clubs fifth former Barcelona player, six if you include Hughes, who himself played for Barcelona between 1986 and 1988,
Any deal would likely involve a buy-back option, although Barcelona would ideally prefer a loan.
Nicknamed ‘The Arrow’ from his time in the Barcelona youth, he is best known for his ability to run at defenders. His strong upper body strength coupled with his fast pace make him a nightmare for fullbacks.
Hughes was given a boost in his pursuit of the winger when Barcelona’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez admitted he could leave.
He said: “He’s a magnificent player but due to certain circumstances he hasn’t managed to find a place in the first team. He might leave,” Sky Sports reported.