It’s been a relatively quiet silly season in US circles thus far, but two new rumors have appeared linking New England Revolution striker Juan Agudelo and LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez to Stoke City.
Ives drops this note:
And media from Stoke have suggested Agudelo:
Hughes was interested in Agudelo, who now plays in the United States for New England Revolution, when he was in charge at Manchester City three years ago, and has monitored his progress since then.
Stoke have used their presence in America these past 11 days to conduct advanced talks amid competition from at least one Premier League rival.
Gonzalez, as Ives notes, is generally attractive because his contract with the Galaxy is up at season’s end (this is the second-most undiscussed story in American soccer behind the same being true with Landon Donovan). I don’t know how much sense it would make for Stoke though, given that Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth are pretty solid in the center of defense (forcing Gonzalez’s US teammate, Geoff Cameron, to rightback most often). Even if they’re looking for a relatively cheap depth signing (since there would be no transfer fee), I’m not sure that Stoke makes sense for Gonzalez unless he really likes hanging out with Cameron, Brek Shea, and Maurice Edu.
Agudelo makes more sense as he is having a nice year with New England (and Chivas USA before that) when healthy. Agudelo would have a tough time getting a work permit; however, several US players have won appeals in recent years (boosted by Jürgen Klinsmann’s involvement) so perhaps it wouldn’t be an issue.