Stoke City are eyeing a summer swoop for one-time Newcastle United target Andre Carillo after some impressive displays from the Peruvian at Sporting Lisbon.
Only four players from the South American country have ever graced the Premier League but only one stand out and that is former Magpies favourite Nolberto Solano.
Carillo caught the eye of the St James Park management last term and a move to the north-east would have brought instant comparison to his compatriot but now Stoke seem the most likely side to afford him an opportunity in the English top flight.
The 23-year-old can operate on the wing or as a second striker and has displayed an eye for goal with five strikes in just 22 starts for Lisbon this term.
Involved in the international set-up since the age of 19, Carillo is more experienced than his 23 years suggest and with his contract running out in the summer Potters boss Mark Hughes could snap up his man for as little as £3m.
Newcastle were rumoured to be preparing a £7.5m bid in January but with time on his current deal running short Sporting are thought to be willing to accept around half that amount for the midfielder.
Bitter rivals Porto are also said to be monitoring the situation but Sporting would understandably rather see him move to another league – opening the door for Hughes to swoop.
With on-loan Chelsea winger Victor Moses chipping in with just three goals this term and still uncertain as to where his future lies, Carillo could offer an alternative route to injecting some permanent pace and creativity to the Potters’ front line.
Stoke are on course to secure a top 10 finish this season but Hughes is looking to go one better and qualify for Europe next year.
The former Manchester City manager will lay the final ghost of Tony Pulis’ reign to rest in the summer by widening the Britannia Stadium pitch in order to accommodate a more expansive style of play and Carillo could be just the man to highlight the wisdom of that decision.
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