Mark Hughes confirms Stoke City bid for Saido Berahino
STOKE manager Mark Hughes has said the Potters have lodged bids for West Brom striker Saido Berahino.
Berahino, who received an England squad call-up in November 2014, has only one year left on his deal with the Baggies and, last summer, he expressed frustration that a move to Tottenham was blocked by his club's hierarchy. However, the 22-year-old may yet be offered a way out of the Hawthorns by Stoke as Hughes has stated his club have made enquiries to West Brom about landing Berahino amid reports of a £20million bid.
"He's a player at another club, so I don't really want to comment too much, but it's fair to say we've put bids in that, as we stand, haven't been accepted yet, but we're still hopeful on that one," the Welshman said.
In the 2015 summer transfer window, West Brom rejected a series of offers from Tottenham for Berahino, who displayed his dismay at chairman Jeremy Peace by writing on Twitter: "I can officially say I will never play [for] Jeremy Peace."
Though he did return to the fold, he scored just seven times last season, having found the net 20 times in the previous campaign and his form and fitness were criticised by boss Tony Pulis. Newcastle's club-record £21million bid was rebuffed in the winter window, but Pulis' old club Stoke have now identified the former England U21 international as one of their prime targets as they seek attacking reinforcements.
Stoke scored only 41 times in the Premier League last term, the fewest of any clubs to finish in the top-12, and Hughes is keen to add a spearhead to function ahead of the creative talents of Bojan Krkic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic. Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Robin van Persie is another player who has been linked with a switch to Staffordshire, though Hughes was coy when the name of the 32-year-old Fenerbahce forward was put to him.
"I've seen speculation, there's going to be a lot of those stories, in fairness," Hughes said.
"Some will have a little bit of substance, some won't. We're looking to address key areas in the team, where we feel we can improve on and, if those players become available, then we're interested."