Stoke have confirmed on their website that their attempt to secure a UK work permit for U.S. international Juan Agudelo has been rejected for a second time, leaving the striker's club future uncertain.
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The Potters' first attempt to secure a work permit for the 21-year-old was denied in November by UK government officials in London.
It appeared that the deal was dead, but in January Stoke announced they had signed Agudelo on a multi-year deal, and the player was immediately loaned out to Eredivisie side Utrecht.
A source told ESPN in November that the panel did not give a reason for the decision -- although it is believed to be due to the former New England Revolution player's lack of international appearances.
The forward scored three goals and claimed three assists in 14 appearances in the Netherlands, helping the Eredivisie side to steer clear of relegation, but the UK work permit appeal board has once again decided the striker does not meet the criteria needed.
Fcutrecht thank you for the season and support. pic.twitter.com/lhZmaP8VeZ- Juan Agudelo (@JuanAgudelo) May 7, 2014
The ruling comes after Football Association chairman Greg Dyke set a target of increasing the number of English players in the Premier League from 32 percent to 45 percent by 2022 in his England Commission report released on Thursday.
Agudelo was the subject of interest from a number of European clubs in January, and faces a decision over his future with a playing career in the Premier League currently not an option.
Hughes was keen to add Agudelo to his ranks to bolster Stoke's attacking options in the second half of the season, though the Potters have enjoyed a fine run of form and could finish as high as ninth with one game remaining.