Stoke City are reportedly hoping to complete a loan deal for out-of-favour Barcelona's Bojan Krkic within the next few days, as the forward looks to get his career back on track.
With Mark Hughes previously using his contacts at the Catalan club to sign defender Marc Muniesa last summer, having played at Camp Nou for a season in the late-1980s, the manager will be hoping that he can pull off another coup with the addition of the once-promising frontman.
Formerly considered one of the brightest young talents in Europe, Bojan made his first-team debut for Barca in 2007, aged just 17, going on to score 41 goals in 162 games over the next four campaigns, while winning three La Liga titles and two Champions League winner’s medals.
Failing to live up to his lofty expectations however, the 23-year-old was sold to Luis Enrique’s Roma in 2011, before the Barca legend’s sacking saw him sent out on loan to AC Milan for 2012-13 after just one season in the Italian capital.
Returning to his boyhood club last summer, after a buy-back clause in his contract was exercised, Bojan was promptly sent out on another season-long loan to Ajax, but he failed to thrive with the Eredivisie champions as expected, netting just five times in 32 appearances.
Making his international debut for Spain in 2008, after opting for the nation of his mother’s birth over that of his father, Serbia, the diminutive youngster has yet to earn another cap for the national side and now finds his career once again in limbo this off-season.
Also capable of playing out wide on the wing, nobody doubts Bojan’s talent and skill, having showcased it numerous times in the past, but most now seem resigned to the fact that he will never develop into the star once hailed as ‘the next Messi.’
However, despite already signing former Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf this summer from Hannover 96, Stoke certainly still have room for the lively La Masia product, who would help add a fresh dimension to the Potters' lineup.
With consistent playing time in a competitive league, it could be just what Bojan needs in his attempt to rediscover some of the magic which made him such a well-regarded prospect, while also being a major boost to the Premier League side’s bid to improve upon their impressive ninth-place finish last season.