Stoke must move now if they are to finally clinch Juan Agudelo signing

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The door is open for Stoke City to do what they failed to do in the summer and seal the signing of exciting American striker Juan Agudelo.

The Potters were thwarted in their bid to sign the 22-year-old last year, despite agreeing terms, when he was refused a work permit, much to the annoyance of chief executive Tony Scholes.

But now, it appears a deal could be a real possibility, albeit they will have competition for his signature.

The former Chivas player is currently training with Wolves and boss Kenny Jackett believes securing a permit now will be a straightforward process:

“We haven’t applied for one [a work permit] because we haven’t decided to sign him yet, but the enquiries we’ve made so far suggest everything will be fine if we want to take him”.

Although Agudelo will have build some sort of affiliation with the West Midlands club, if Stoke were to get involved again, surely the allure of the Premier League would be too much to turn down.

And reinforcements in the attacking third looks just what Mark Hughes’ side need.

Having drawn another blank against Liverpool at the weekend, the Potters are the fourth lowest scorers in the division and are just four points ahead of the drop zone.

The striker has a respectable goalscoring record to his name, getting three in eight starts for Utrecht in the second half of last season, and five in 13 at the New England Revolution before that, but he offers more than just prowess in front of goal.

Agudelo is a strong pacey forward player that would nicely fill the void left by Victor Moses’ injury or could even cover for Mame Biram Diouf when the Senegal man is on duty in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Either way, Stoke must move fast if they are avoid the player who their chief executive said could be good enough that “in a few years a Premier League club will be prepared to pay a few million pounds for”, being snapped up for nothing by Wolves.

Next up for Staffordshire side is a trip to Old Trafford where they are evens to record back-to-back blanks in front of goal.

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

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.