Stoke City FC have already welcomed three US talents – Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Brek Shea – into their ranks over the past year or so, and now reports suggest that the Potters may seek to add to that contingent with the pursuit of two of MLS' brightest young stars.
English outlet The Sentinel reports that Potters manager Mark Hughes has utilized his team's just-concluded US preseason tour to do further research on a possible transfer move for New England Revolution striker Juan Agudelo.
The latest report on Friday morning suggests there was a face-to-face meeting between Agudelo and Stoke manager Mark Hughes in Philadelphia, where the Potters played the Union.
The New England Revolution did not respond to a request for comment by MLSsoccer.com.
According to the Stoke-based publication, Hughes has had his eyes on the former Chivas USA and New York Red Bulls wunderkind for years, going all the way back to his time at the help of Manchester City – and faces competition from a rival English Premier League club for his signature, even after Agudelo has spent more than a month on the Revs sidelines due to injury.
And shortly after Wednesday night's All-Star Game, SoccerByIves.com's Ives Galarcep tweeted that LA Galaxy defender and US national team regular Omar Gonzalez met with Stoke officials earlier that same day.
Good timing on that goal.. I'm told Gonzalez spoke with officials from Stoke City today. Lots of interest in the soon-to-be free agent #MLS— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) August 1, 2013
At the moment both players are out of contract at the end of the season, which makes them that much more attractive to overseas clubs seeking to avoid paying transfer fees.
But while Gonzalez is apparently seen as a January transfer window target by the Potters, Hughes sounds like he may be willing to shell out a fee for Agudelo in order to get the talented frontrunner on board in time for the start of their 2013-14 EPL campaign later this month.