Stoke City boss Mark Hughes is putting his Barcelona contacts book to good use once again this summer with a bid for Moroccan winger Mohamed El Ouriachi.
The Barcelona B star has impressed for the Catalan’s reserve side and is set to join fellow Barca products Bojan Krkic and Marc Muniesa at the Britannia Stadium when his Nou Camp deal expires at the end of the season.
Hughes enjoyed a two-year stay at the Nou Camp during his playing days and is set to use his relationship with the La Liga giants to beat a host of rivals to the signing of the Spain youth international.
Moha has put in a number of exciting displays in the Uefa Youth League this season, scoring four goals from out wide and laying five further strikes on for his teammates and the teenager now wants to test himself at a higher level and is seemingly not prepared to bide his time for a crack at the Barca first team.
Ouriachi’s agent, Raul Verdu, told Catalan newspaper Sport that Barca are keen to extend the 19-year-old’s stay at the club but claimed Stoke’s offer makes more sense both professionally and economically.
“We thank Barca for the deal they offered the player and the efforts they have gone to try to renew his contract,” he said.
“But … Moha has the option of joining the first team squad at Stoke and that was irresistible.”
The Moroccan-born winger has pace to burn and could provide cover and competition for Victor Moses next season, with Hughes keen to make the Nigerian’s loan stay from Chelsea a permanent arrangement.
The Potters are on course for a top 10 Premier League finish this season but Hughes is looking to inspire his club to a higher platform and furthering his special relationship with Barcelona should only serve to further his cause.
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