Stoke to rival West Ham for rising Serie A star

Stoke boss Mark Hughes is set to rival West Ham this summer for the signature of Sampdoria ace Pedro Obiang.

The 23-year-old defensive midfielder has been linked with a move to Upton Park but Hughes is hoping the uncertainly around the managerial situation in east London will allow him to derail the Irons’ plans.

Despite not currently having a manager, after bidding farewell to Sam Allardyce, West Ham recently bid £5.75m for the Spain U21 international in the hope of warding off potential rivals.

However, the Italians value their man at closer to the £8m mark and, and the hold up in negotiations has allowed Hughes to enter the fray.

Obiang started his career at Atletico Madrid before moving to Sampdoria and while he has yet to force his way into a regular starting berth has shown glimpses of his potential.

Hughes believes the combative midfielder, who also has an eye for goal, would adapt quickly to life in the Premier League and could add some steel to the Potters squad as they go in search of a top six finish next term.

News of the Potters’ interest in Obiang continues a trend that will have Stoke fans looking forward to the new season with anticipation.

In addition to the Sampdoria ace the Britannia Road outfit have been linked with Barcelona midfielder Ibrahim Afellay and highly-rated Dnipro star Yehvhen Konoplyanka.

Should the trio arrive to link up with fit-again Bjoan Krcic in the Potters midfield then this season top 10 finish could prove to be a step towards a much brighter future.

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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.