Stoke City set to poach another Barcelona star in winger Moha
Barcelona are fast becoming a feeder club for Stoke City, as the Premier League club (odds-on at 4/7 with Coral for a top 10 finish) are reportedly set to add Moha El Ouriachi to their ranks in the summer.
The 19-year-old left winger is out of contract with the Catalan club, who are 7/5 to win the Champions League, at the end of the season, but the lure of Staffordshire and first-team football was too tempting to turn down according to his agent.
“We thank Barca for the deal they offered the player and the efforts they have gone to try to renew his contract,” agent Raul Verdu said.
“But another proposal was really interesting on both a professional and economic level. Moha has the option of joining the first-team squad at Stoke and that was irresistible.”
If a deal is to go through, Moroccan-born Moha will join fellow former Barca starlets Bojan Krcic and Marc Muniesa, who both arrived at Stoke directly from the Spanish giants. Manager Mark Hughes also had a brief spell as a player at the Nou Camp, and is seemingly using all his contacts to bring in highly-rated talent.
Moha has made a habit of resisting the lure of top teams, as he also once turned down a move to Real Madrid in 2011. He started out in Espanyol’s youth ranks, though.
As a player, the left-footer has been described as tall, pacy and skilful, and he has made youth appearances for his adopted country Spain.
This season, Moha has been used in the Barcelona B team, and has featured heavily in the UEFA Youth League for them, scoring four times and making five assists in 11 matches.
At present, Stoke have limited options out wide, with the likes of Marko Arnautovic and the out-of-contract Jonathan Walters there only real options. Victor Moses has also been used on the wing, but is on loan from Chelsea and it’s unclear if he’ll be offered a permanent deal, especially as he is now out injured for the season.
The Potters have enjoyed a terrific season to date, as they find themselves 10th in the table after 32 games, and are in line to match their final position of ninth last term.