Report: Stoke and Championship clubs scuppered in bid for US international Juan Agudelo

Stoke Britannia Stadium

Ongoing work permit problems have forced Juan Agudelo to disappoint interested clubs in England and return to MLS.

Stoke City agreed a second pre-deal with Juan Agudelo this winter, according to MLSSoccer.com, but the striker’s work permit problems once again scuppered a proposed move.

Championship trio Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers and Wolverhampton Wanderers also wanted Agudelo, but the US international is now returning to MLS to re-join the New England Revolution.

One of the USA’s brightest prospects, Agudelo burst onto the MLS scene as a teenager in 2010, enjoying promising spells with the New York Red Bulls, Chivas USA and New England, respectively, before agreeing a pre-contract with Stoke in August 2013 to join the club in the New Year.

However, the fact the 17-times capped forward had featured just twice for the US since 2012 saw him denied a work permit, and forced the Premier League side to send him out on loan to FC Utrecht for the second-half of the 2013-14 campaign.

He scored three goals in 14 appearances for the Dutch outfit, earning impressive reviews, but a rejected appeal in May resulted in the Potters reluctantly announcing his release soon after.

Without a club since, the 22-year-old is said to have rejected approaches from the likes of 1860 Munich, Anderlecht, Feyenoord, Red Bull Leipzig, Red Bull Salzburg, Sporting CP, Standard Liège and Werder Bremen over the past six months due to his determination to seal a move to England.

He had been attempt to acquire EU citizenship through an investment-based passport application in Cyprus in recent months, prompting Stoke to reignite their interest, while also seeing Wolves hand him a two-week trial, which, for a period, looked like it might result in a permanent stay.

Delays with the paperwork have now forced him to give up on his England dreams for the moment, however, with a move back to New England set to be the start of his attempts to revive his still-promising career.

The Colombian-born front man, who scored on his US debut in November 2010 at 17, netted seven times in 14 games for the Revs in 2013 after arriving in a mid-season trade from Chivas, and the club will hope his return can help them go one better than the previous campaign’s MLS Cup final defeat.

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