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Hughes confirms Stoke interest in Manchester United defender Jones

SoccerNews in English Premier League 25 Aug 2016

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Mark Hughes has confirmed Stoke City have made an enquiry for Manchester United defender Phil Jones but a protracted move for Saido Berahino continues to prove problematic.

Hughes, speaking ahead of Stoke’s trip to Everton on Saturday, revealed the Potters are actively pursuing several targets prior to the transfer window’s closure next Wednesday.

He told reporters at his news conference: “A lot of people would be surprised by the number of players we have made enquiries about.

“I can assure everyone we have been active in the market. It’s one of those windows. It might go down to deadline day.

“We’ve talked about a lot of players, too many to list to be honest. Phil Jones is a player with good pedigree at a good club and sometimes you make an enquiry just to see where the land lies.”

Hughes hinted he was becoming frustrated with his attempts to snare West Brom striker Berahino, adding: “We are quite a way down the line with that. You have to let these things run their course and give them the time they deserve.

“Some deals just go on and on and you get to the point where you have to move on. There’s been deals where we have made decisions to do that.

“We still have a view something may happen, but are close to the point where we move on and look at alternatives.”

Stoke have taken one point from their opening two Premier League games – a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough and a 4-1 defeat at home to Manchester City – and Hughes is excited at the challenge facing his team against an Everton team now managed by Ronald Koeman.

He added: “He’s a top-class manager with experience across Europe. He did a great job at Southampton, moving them forward in difficult circumstances. 

“They brought in players and sold them in at a big profit. It’s worked for them but it’s difficult for the manager. He was able to still make them competitive.

“It’s a different challenge at Everton. He has a strong group of players anyway and I’m sure he’ll want to add to the quality.

“You’d imagine there will be changes ahead of them and it’s how they manage those changes. He’s a good manager and he was a fantastic player. Going up against him as a player or manager is a challenge.”

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