New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo has signed a pre-contract with English Premier League club Stoke City, according to a Tuesday morning report from SoccerByIves.net.
Pre-contracts are commonplace in international soccer, allowing players to negotiate and sign deals with new clubs beginning six months prior to the end of their contract. Agudelo's MLS deal is set to expire in December 2013.
Reports from England in recent days indicated strong interest from the Potters in the 20-year-old Agudelo, including reported meetings between Agudelo and Stoke manager Mark Hughes during the EPL club's recent visit to Philadelphia.
Agudelo, who has 17 caps and two goals for the senior USMNT, would become the latest US international to join the Potters, a group that currently includes Maurice Edu, Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea. However, Agudelo has logged just 55 minutes for the USMNT since January 2012.
“We are aware of the stories circulating about Juan Agudelo, but as we’re sure you can understand, we cannot address anything publicly unless an official announcement has been made," the Revolution said in a press release. "But we can state that Juan is near full health and due back to the squad soon to help us as we push toward the playoffs the last three months of the season.”
The New York Red Bulls Academy product has been linked with several foreign clubs in recent years, including the likes of Stuttgart, Liverpool and Celtic. That international appeal is what caused many an eyebrow to be raised when he was traded to Chivas USA on May 18, 2012. The Goats traded him to New England nearly a year later (May 7, 2013).
Agudelo has played in just five matches for the Revolution, scoring three goals. The Colombian-born striker has been sidelined for the last seven matches since injuring his right knee in a US Open Cup quarterfinal against D.C. United on June 26. His last appearance came in a 4-3 road loss to Vancouver on June 15.
Since signing with the Red Bulls as a Homegrown player in 2010, Agudelo has played in 64 total MLS matches (37 starts) and tallied 14 goals.