Hughes frustrated over Agudelo move
Mark Hughes will increase his efforts to sign a striker in the January transfer window after claiming Juan Agudelo has been left devastated by the decision to refuse him a work permit.
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The Stoke City manager has not been given any reasons for the refusal of the permit for the MLS striker, following the panel hearing earlier this week and will now turn to alternative targets after being forced to scrap the deal to sign the 20-year-old in January.
Stoke have been linked with another move for Hannover 96 striker Mame Biram Diouf and have also been mentioned in connection with Spurs' England forward Jermain Defoe, with Hughes eager to add to his attacking options.
Hughes and Stoke have been left speculating in private on the collapse of the deal with New England Revolution for Agudelo, but refuse to publicly discuss their theories on the situation.
The failure of FC Dallas star Brek Shea to break into the first-team setup at the Britannia and the Football Association's desire to generate more English talent under new chairman Greg Dyke are possible theories, but Hughes now feels Agudelo will end up in Europe where the work permit regulations are less stringent.
Hughes made no effort to conceal his frustration at the decision and said: "I am disappointed regarding the news on Juan Agudelo. It is hugely disappointing for us, but it is also devastating for the lad. No doubt somebody in Europe will pick him up and he will be a sensation somewhere else, unfortunately.
"We are still in the market for other players as well. The focus hasn't all been on just one player. We are looking at all situations. Most clubs are looking at players not involved and most are open to a loan deal.
"Or we can bring them in permanently. We don't close the door on anything. We have been looking for another striker since the summer and that has been well documented. We continue to look in those areas."