Juan Agudelo to join Stoke in January
New England Revolution striker Juan Agudelo has signed a pre-contract agreement with Stoke City and will join the Premier League club on January 1.
• Whittaker: There's only Juan...
Agudelo, 20, will move across the Atlantic when his current deal with the MLS side expires at the turn of the year.
The Potters, who already have Americans Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Maurice Edu on their books, confirmed the news via a statement on their official website on Friday.
Manager Mark Hughes said: "We've put a lot of work into this deal, and I am delighted that we have managed to get the deal over the line. It’s a good deal for us, because he is a very good young player who boasts a lot of talent as well as a lot of potential too.
"I've known of him for a couple of years now. He burst onto the scene for the United States at the age of 17 and everybody has paid attention to him since. I have kept my eye on him for the last 18 months, and thankfully we were in a position where we were able to pull this deal off."
Chief Executive Tony Scholes added: “We’ve played against five MLS teams in the last two years and have been consistently impressed with the quality we’ve come up against.
"We’ve already taken two players directly from the MLS in Geoff [Cameron] and Brek [Shea]. Geoff readily adapted to life in the Premier League by making 35 league appearances for us in his first season at the Britannia Stadium. Brek and Maurice [Edu] will be looking to do likewise this season and we’re confident that Juan [Agudelo] will be able to follow suit.”
Agudelo has scored five goals in 11 MLS matches while battling a knee injury this season, and has won 17 caps for the United States.
The Revolution have moved fast to find a replacement for the youngster, bringing in veteran striker Charlie Davies on loan from Denmark’s Randers FC. The MLS side have an option to make the move permanent.
Hughes has chosen to bolster his attack following the retirement of Michael Owen and this week’s news that Cameron Jerome could face a ban for illegal betting.
In addition, Kenwyne Jones has had a shortened pre-season because of international duties with Trinidad and Tobago and, alongside Peter Crouch, has been linked with a move elsewhere.
The Potters boss has, however, suggested that he might be prepared to wait a few months for another of his targets, Hanover striker Mame Biram Diouf.
The two clubs appear to be some way apart in their valuations and Hughes could hold fire until January if necessary to make sure Stoke do not pay significantly over the odds.
Stoke welcome Genoa to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday for their final pre-season friendly.