Bowen cools talk of Stoke swoop for Sandro and Traore
Stoke City assistant manager Mark Bowen has cooled reports of any imminent move for Barcelona duo Sandro and Adama Traore in the aftermath of Bojan Krkic's season-ending injury.
Bojan is starting out on a gruelling rehabilitation programme after sustaining a serious knee injury in Stoke's FA Cup fourth-round victory over Rochdale this week.
Bowen has suggested that the former Barca forward will be out for eight months, prompting speculation that boss Mark Hughes will look to act quickly to bring in attacking reinforcements before the transfer window closes on Monday.
Hughes watched Sandro and Traore in action for Barcelona B earlier this month prior to Bojan's injury blow, but Bowen insists it is early days in any potential transfer negotiations.
"It's no secret Mark went out there, but they are a long way from pulling on a Stoke City shirt," Bowen told the Stoke Sentinel.
While lamenting the loss of Bojan, Bowen knows it hands other players in the Stoke squad the chance to step into the fray.
He added: "It looks like eight months and it's a terrible shame for him.
"It's such a huge blow having just come to a different country, settled so well, proved himself and proved wrong one or two doubters abroad.
"He's been a tremendous professional to work with, a fantastic personality within the squad and someone who works so hard on his game.
"It's a chance for other people. Stephen Ireland has looked back to his old self in the last couple of weeks, so this is an opportunity for the likes of Stephen."
Bojan took to Twitter on Wednesday to post: "I will be positive, I'll face it with a smile. I promise that I'll come back stronger than ever."