Stoke turn attention back to Diouf
Mark Hughes is planning fresh negotiations with Hannover for Mame Biram Diouf after expressing his disappointment at failing to persuade Nelson Oliveira to move to the Britannia Stadium on loan.
Stoke manager Hughes will re-focus his attentions on the Senegal international in the hope of concluding a deal this week, following Oliveira's decision to reject the chance of a season-long loan in favour of a switch to French club Rennes.
Negotiations with Hannover have hit an impasse with the Bundesliga club valuing Diouf at £6m, with Stoke prepared to pay only half that fee to sign the former Manchester United striker.
Stoke chairman Peter Coates is refusing to sanction such a heavy investment in Diouf, with the player about to enter the final 12 months of his two-year contract with Hannover and would have ended his interest completely if Oliveira had agreed to move from Benfica.
Hughes said last week he felt a deal for the 21-year-old Portuguese striker was on the verge of being completed and he expected the player to join up with the squad for their ten-day trip to the USA.
But now it appears Stoke have lost out because of the financial package Rennes were able to put together for the player and Benfica.
"We were very close to that one. We thought as an option for him and for us it made sense," Hughes told the Stoke Sentinel.
"We were bringing a young player to the Premier League who we felt would add to the quality we already have, while he would get experience being in and around the Premier League.
"We thought it would be a footballing decision, but at the end of the day it seems to have been more about the money involved. That happens, I'm afraid, and you have to take it on the chin and move on."
Hughes is determined to add one new striker to his squad before the end of the transfer window and would like the player in place ahead of the Premier League kick-off against Liverpool.