Stoke have signed Barcelona defender Marc Muniesa on a free transfer.
The 21-year-old, who was part of the Spain side that won the European Under-21 Championship last month, has joined the Premier League club on a four-year contract.
He becomes new manager Mark Hughes’ second signing of the close-season, following the arrival of Dutch international Erik Pieters at the Britannia Stadium from PSV Eindhoven last week.
Muniesa – who can play at left-back or in the centre of defence – cannot wait to get his new career under way.
“I’m very excited about moving to England to play for Stoke City and will do everything I can to help the club,” he told the club’s official website.
“It wasn’t a big decision for me to make. I came to England yesterday (Monday) to meet the people at the club and look around the training ground, which is very impressive.
“My season only finished a fortnight ago when the European Championships ended, but I can’t wait to get started for Stoke. I would start tomorrow if the club asked me to.”
Muniesa made his Liga debut for Barcelona as a 17-year-old, becoming the second youngest player to make a first-team appearance for the Catalan club.
He was an unused substitute for the 2009 UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United, and Hughes believes he will have a big future in the English top flight.
“Marc has been well-schooled by Barca. Technically, he’s a very good player and I’ve no doubts he will be an excellent addition to our squad,” he said.
“I know he’s very highly regarded in Spain and was attracting interest from clubs in La Liga, but he’s an ambitious young man and wants to test himself in English football.”
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