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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Hughes' Eyes Are Open

MARK HUGHES admits that he is looking to be active in the transfer market this summer . . . but is only interested in pursuing players who possess the right attributes to take the Club forward.

The Welshman has already added Dutch international Erik Pieters and former Barcelona starlet Marc Muniesa to his ranks, as well as tying winger Jermaine Pennant down to a new deal after he initially looked set to depart the Britannia Stadium this summer.

The City boss stopped short of identifying any potential transfer targets, but did reveal that he is open to players in any positions - as long as they improve the group that he already has at his disposal.

"We are in the market, and our eyes are open at all times," he said on Friday. "Obviously we are working with the players that we have here now, all of whom have really impressed me with their qualities and application in training.

"If there are players out there who become available and we feel that they are the right players for the Club then we will look to see if we are able to conclude a deal and bring them in.

"We are pleased with the two that we have managed to sign so far, Erik and Marc, two players of fantastic quality, and two players who are international footballers in their own right. One at full level and one at Under 21 level."

He added: "There is good quality already here at the Club, but as I said, if there are players out there who we feel will improve us as a group, then I'm sure that I will get the backing of the Coates family to try and bring them into the Club."

Hughes has so far had to make do without the services of both Brek Shea and Kenwyne Jones, who remain on international duty for their respective countries participating in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States.

Ideally, he admits that both players would have already returned to training at the Britannia Stadium, but isn't too worried about their condition for when they do eventually link back up with their teammates.

"It would have been nice to have had them both here already, but it is what it is, and I'm sure they are putting in the right work out in America," he added.

"The two of them should be fit, they have been training hard and they have been playing matches too, so when they do arrive back with us we expect them to hit the ground running."


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