Stoke City boss Mark Hughes looking to gazump Manchester United

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is looking to get one over old club Manchester United by luring Trabzonspor striker Abdul Majeed Waris to the Britannia Stadium.

The Ghana international has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the football ranks, featuring for Forest Green Rovers’ reserve side before moves to Swedish side BK Hacken and Russian giants Spartak Moscow.

Now based in the Super Lig, the 23-year-old has attracted admiring glances from some of Europe’s bigger clubs and it is widely understood that United assistant manager Ryan Giggs was dispatched to run the rule over the striker last year.

Reports in Turkey suggest Stoke have moved ahead of United in the queue, however, with Hughes said to be ready to pay £4m up front rising to £6m with add-ons.

Stoke fans will have to wait for the new arrival, however, as Waris has already filled his quota of clubs for the season, meaning any move will be delayed until the summer.

Waris hit 30 goals in 63 league games for Hacken but struggled to find his feet in Russia, where he netted just one goal in 15 league outings.

A loan spell at French side Valenciennes saw a return to form, however, with a tally of nine goals in 16 matches convincing Lille and Trabzonspor to fight for his services.

He has his four goals so far this season for the Turkish outfit and while these figures won’t exactly strike fear into Premier League defenders, Hughes believes Waris is one for the future.

The Potters still have one eye on a push for Europe after picking up three points against Leicester at the weekend ahead of this week’s visit of the league’s worst away side by some distance – QPR.

Harry Redknapp’s Hoops are without a win on the road, meaning Stoke look a sure bet to win and keep their top six dream alive.

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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.