Monday, 7 August 2017

Stoke City Looking To Seal The Deal For Cameroon Forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

Stoke City hope to avoid any last-minute hitches and wrap up the signing of Cameroon forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.


Choupo-Moting is one of Europe's most-wanted free agents after leaving Schalke at the end of his contract this summer and has reportedly been on the radar of AC Milan.

But Stoke have lined up the quick and strong 28-year-old to fill the void left by Marko Arnautovic's £25m departure to West Ham.

Talks have been held and the Potters hope to push through a three-year deal on Monday – but Mark Hughes was refusing to take anything for granted after seeing his side beat RB Leipzig 2-1 in his final pre-season friendly.

"He's a player we've got an interest in and it's one of those we're hopeful of getting over the line," said the manager.

"You can never say it's done until it is. I've had experiences where clubs have just jumped in at the last moment when you've done all the work and they're able to convince players. We'll just hang fire until it's actually official."

Stoke have also been trying to bring in Mario Lemina, a £16m-rated Gabon midfielder who is leaving Juventus. Claims in Italy, however, suggest they may be beaten to the punch by Premier League rivals Southampton, even if Mauricio Pellegrino has denied knowledge of any deal.

"There's possibly something in that (Stoke interest)," said Hughes, before laughing: "I refer you to my last answer."
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Stoke wrapped up their busy summer schedule with an impressive performance and result against a side which is preparing for their Champions League debut this season.

Hughes gave a hint as to his plans for the curtain raiser at Everton next weekend by going again with a 3-4-2-1 formation and using Mame Diouf as right wing-back ahead of Glen Johnson.

Diouf, who scored Stoke's first, did well in his new role – even if he still needs his arm twisting that it is a position for him.

Hughes said: "Mame is such an honest player. He gives everything he's got. At times when we've played him down the middle we've found it difficult to get him quality balls and at times it's bouncing around and he feels a little bit frustrated because he feels he's got more to give.

"But in a wing-back position he's able to expend all his energy in a defensive and attacking sense. He's got a lot of energy. It's a role that I think at times he needs convincing about regarding his effectiveness and actually playing the role.

"But I think he's understanding now that it can actually be enjoyable with the abilities he has."

Stoke are waiting on an injury update about Bojan, who limped off in the second half.

Hughes said: "He just felt his calf a little bit. It might just be a kick that's stiffened up. We hope so, hopefully he's not pulled anything. We've been very good with injuries in pre-season so it would be a shame if we lost anyone now."

Left-back Josh Tymon has been passed fit after bruising his left foot in last week's friendly defeat at St Pauli.

Read more at www.stokesentinel.co.uk




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