Stoke City boss Hughes reveals Deulofeu enquiry

The Welshman, who took over from Tony Pulis at the Britannia Stadium in the summer, had hoped to sign the promising Barcelona youngster alongside Marc Muniesa
Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has revealed that Everton beat him to the loan signing of Gerard Deulofeu in the close season.

9/2 Stoke are 9/2 with Bet365 to get relegated this season
Hughes watched on as Barcelona teenager Deulofeu tormented his side during a 4-0 defeat at Goodison Park on Saturday, with the winger scoring the opener and also playing a major role in goals from Seamus Coleman and Bryan Oviedo.

But the Welshman, who signed Deulofeu's former team-mate Marc Muniesa from Barca in July, insists the 19-year-old winger could have been lining up against Roberto Martinez's side.

"We were aware of him - we knew he was a talent," Hughes told reporters after the game.

"He's obviously well regarded and we made an enquiry ourselves. Obviously we were aware of him, as we brought in Marc Muniesa and we were aware that he [Deulofeu] was up for a loan deal as well.

"Unfortunately he came here [Everton] and not to Stoke."

Hughes - who played for Barcelona in the 1980s - went on to predict that the Spain Under-21 international will not be allowed to leave the Camp Nou on a permanent basis.

"He's a very talented boy and I'm sure it’ll only be a loan deal as Barcelona will keep hold of that asset, I think," Hughes added.

Saturday's defeat means Stoke have registered just one win in their last ten league games, with Cardiff due to visit the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday.