Hughes’ Barcelona history allowing Stoke to think glamorously

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It’s fair to say that with Mark Hughes around Stoke’s footballing style has become a little more adventurous, although their steely reputation hasn’t diminished a jot under the Welsh manager.

However, the former Manchester United hero is keen to keep adding to his attacking stocks at the Britannia Stadium and his links with European powerhouses are certainly aiding his push to make the former Tony Pulis pummellers more pleasing to watch.

His stint as a Barcelona player between 1986 and 1988 allowed him to sign Blaugrana youngster Marc Muniesa on loan last season, and the Welshman has returned to Catalonia to try and secure a far more exciting temporary deal this term.

Bojan Krkic hasn’t pulled the famous blue and red jersey over his head for three years, despite once being dubbed the new Lionel Messi.

Having been bought by Roma in 2011, the Spaniard was loaned out to AC Milan during the 2012/13 season before the La Liga giants exercised a buy-back clause to resign him that summer.

His homeland fortunes didn’t improve second time around and he spent the entire campaign in Holland last year, making 32 all-competition appearances for Ajax and scoring five goals.

Now, Barcelona are looking for yet another temporary home for the 23-year-old and Hughes is confident Stoke can provide it.

Potters chairman, Peter Coates, confirmed the club, who are 8/1 for relegation this season, have made contact with the player and are expecting to complete a loan move soon.

Bojan would be the fifth signing of Hughes’ summer having landed Phil Bardsley, Steve Sidwell, Mame Biram Diouf and Dionatan Teixeira already this off season.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.