Meet the next Barcelona ace set to join Stoke City

Stoke City’s recent trend for signing quality, young players from the continent looks set to continue with a bid for Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto.

The Potters have already snapped up Bojan and Marc Muniesa from Barcelona but Mark Hughes is hoping to make it a hat-trick of signings from the Catalan giants after missing out on Yevhen Konoplyanka.

Sevilla have beaten the Britannia Stadium outfit to the signing of the Ukrainian and remain keen on taking Steven N’Zonzi to Spain and as such, could play a key role in facilitating a deal for Roberto to leave the Nou Camp.

The 23-year-old is well regarded by Barcelona, but with Denis Suarez heading back to the Nou Camp after a season-long loan spell with Sevilla he could be open to the idea of an exit – on loan at least.

Sevilla were all set to take Suarez on another season-long loan but with Fifa rules forbidding two successive loans of that length, Barca could be left with too many options.

Spanish news provider Fichajes explained: “Stoke seem willing to gain the services of Sergi Roberto but Barcelona do not want to get rid of the midfielder, declining all offers received either for a permanent transfer or loan.

“But everything could change if Denis Suarez ends up back at the Nou Camp … Barca are unwilling to lose a player of his quality unless they have a substitute in the same template.”

Stoke are currently priced at 5/4 to finish in the Premier League’s top 10 again, but with players like Roberto and Inter Milan’s Xherdan Shaqiri on the Potters’ radar the 18/1 on a top six finish could start to look the more tempting price.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.