Barcelona's El Ouriachi nears Stoke switch

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has confirmed the club are close to bringing in another player from Barcelona in the form of 19-year-old forward Mohamed El Ouriachi.

Marc Muniesa and Bojan Krkic have each swapped Camp Nou for the Britannia Stadium since Hughes took over as Stoke boss, with both players making a positive impression at the Premier League club.

Earlier this week, the agent of El Ouriachi suggested a deal for his player to join Stoke had been agreed.

And speaking at a press conference on Friday, former Barca forward Hughes said: "There is a hope that we can conclude that deal. We are trying to improve the quality of the under-21 group and Moha, from Barcelona, is one that we feel we can get over the line.

"We are actively looking to improve the quality of that group, because if they can impress there then they will push to get in my squad.

"Moha is predominantly left-footed, he has good pace and he ticks a lot of the boxes that I like in a player.

"We are hopeful that we will get it concluded and then get him here and push him towards the first team."

Hughes also confirmed that Muniesa will miss Stoke's home match against Southampton this weekend due to a "slight problem with his hamstring", but fellow defenders Marc Wilson and Erik Pieters are expected to be available despite their respective knocks.