Monday, January 23, 2017

Hughes still hopeful over Berahino

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Jan 2017

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Mark Hughes remains hopeful Stoke City’s protracted pursuit of Saido Berahino will reach a successful conclusion but warned a decision needs to be made “one way or another”.

West Brom striker Berahino has been a peripheral figure at The Hawthorns this season as his form and fitness have tailed off, the 23-year-old only featuring five times in 2016-17.

His last appearance came in September before two trips to France to try to improve his conditioning.

The former England Under-21 international only has six months left on his current deal with the Baggies but, despite being offered a new contract on a number of occasions, has yet to put pen to paper.

That has alerted the likes of Stoke but Hughes’ patience is starting to wear a little thin.

He told a news briefing ahead of Saturday’s trip to Sunderland: “I’m not sure where we are with Saido Berahino, we are probably getting to the point where we need to make a decision one way or another.

“I am hopeful that we will be able to get something done, and we are interested in him – as a number of other clubs are – but nothing has moved forward from last week.

“We are still waiting for the player’s club to give us an indication.

“I think we are looking at players who we feel can improve us, not only short term but long term too, and we have taken that into consideration with this deal.

“It is out of our hands unfortunately, but we are ready to discuss the situation and see where it progresses.”

Speculation on Friday suggested Spanish forward Bojan Krkic could be leaving Stoke for Middlesbrough having fallen down the pecking order at the bet365 Stadium, but Hughes claimed the reports were wide of the mark.

He added: “As far as I am aware I don’t anticipate Bojan to be leaving.”

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