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By ESPN Staff

Stoke aim to buy British

Stoke have scaled down their European scouting operation in order to concentrate on the British market, according to director of football John Rudge.

Although Rudge and manager Tony Pulis have travelled to the continent recently, their main targets are closer to home.

"We haven't scoured Europe like we did last year," Rudge told The Sentinel.

"Just recently all the staff have been out to several different European countries, but that's only been over the last couple of months.

"We have scaled it down from what it was a couple of years ago, although no door is ever closed.

"We still have our contacts out there, so we can follow up recommendations whenever we have to.

"Tony would prefer English players if he can get the right quality at the right price but he has never ruled out a foreign player and we shall certainly take a long, hard look at those recommended."

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