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Stoke set for to bring Bojan Krkic in on loan from Barcelona

Stoke City, 11/8 for a top 10 Premier League finish with Coral, are reportedly closing in on the capture of once-capped Spain striker Bojan Krkic, on a season-long loan deal from La Liga giants Barcelona.

Potters manager Mark Hughes famously played for the Nou Camp club, and is using his connections with Barca to bring in Bojan, who has Serbian heritage. Dimimutive forward Krkic broke into their first-team aged 17 in 2007, and made 162 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan giants before being sold to Roma in 2011.

It was current Barcelona boss Luis Enrique that brought Bojan to the Eternal City outfit, but neither player not manager settled in the Italian capital. Krkic was subsequently loaned to AC Milan and Ajax, with Barca exercising their buyback clause sandwiched in between those temporary spells.

Hughes is hoping that he can continue the development of 23-year-old Bojan at the Britannia Stadium. Realistically, the arrival of Luis Suarez, plus the return of other academy products from loan spells, would hugely limit the game time Krkic would have at Barcelona.

Bojan would also be competing with the likes of Pedro Rodriguez, Neymar, Lionel Messi and Gerard Deulofeu, back at Barca following a stint at Everton. Enrique must also resolve the futures of Dutch winger Ibrahim Afellay and Krkic’s fellow Spain cap Cristian Tello too.

At Stoke, Bojan would join a frontline that includes Marko Arnautovic, veteran target man Peter Crouch, new signing Mame Biram Diouf, Cameron Jerome, Peter Odenwingie and Jonathan Walters. Three of those names are aged 30 or over, so Krkic would bring extra youth to the Potters attack.

Stoke chairman Peter Coates confirmed the club’s interest in Bojan. “Mark has met with the player and we’re quietly confident of getting it all completed soon,” he said. “Attacking players have been very much the focus for Mark since the end of last season and obviously Bojan would be another very good addition.”

The Potters are relative 9/1 outsiders to be relegated this season.