Stoke City manager Mark Hughes confirmed on Thursday what blew up as Major League Soccer's hottest outgoing transfer story earlier in the week: New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo is very much a target for the English Premier League club.
Hughes went one step further, telling BBC Radio Stoke that the club and player were already in talks over a potential January signing. Agudelo's Revs contract is up at the end of the current MLS season and the 20-year-old has already flirted with a European move other times during his young career.
"We're hopeful of progressing that. It seems there's a willingness from both sides," Hughes told the Stoke-on-Trent radio station. "We're still in discussion, but if we can do that he's a good young player and we feel he's got good potential."
With 17 US national team appearances and two goals already to his name, a move to England could give Agudelo one last chance at impressing upon USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann the need to take him to Brazil next summer for the 2014 World Cup.
A move to Stoke would also unite Agudelo with three other regular US national team contributors already at the club — Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Maurice Edu.
The Revolution referred back to Monday's press release on all matters regarding Agudelo's contract situation and negotiations.
“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 club's written statement said. "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.”