Failed Stoke signing reveals he was close to Liverpool, Celtic moves

Date published: Tuesday 2nd June 2020 9:57 - Jonny Whitfield

Failed Stoke signing Juan Agudelo has revealed that Liverpool and Celtic were interested in him before his move to the Potters in 2014.

Agudelo, who had risen to prominence in the MLS and broken through to the US men’s national team in 2013, signed a pre-contract with Stoke in August that year.

The American was due to arrive in Staffordshire in January 2014 but did not end up making an appearance, after his move was marred by work permit issues.

Instead – while still on Stoke’s books – he was loaned out to Dutch side FC Utrecht until the end of the 2013/14 season, but he has revealed that his career could have taken a very different route prior to signing for Stoke.

“I thought for sure I was going to go to Celtic,” Agudelo told MLSSoccer.com.

“It was tough. I don’t know if I would have went to Liverpool and got loaned out, but I definitely wanted to go to Celtic. It was a place I was probably going to play.

“I was offered a contract at Utrecht as my loan ended, but it was a rough time for me. I was frustrated that I couldn’t play (for Stoke) because of work-permit and political issues.

“I wish I was stronger, but I was a kid. I was like, ‘Man, I just want to go home.”

Agudelo did just that, returning to the US after becoming a free agent in the summer of 2014.

He was without a club until January 2015, when he re-signed for New England Revolution, where he had spent a season before his proposed move to the UK.

Agudelo began his career with New York Red Bulls in 2010 before moving to Chivas in 2012 and he is now at David Beckham’s Inter Miami side.

In other news, Liverpool have reportedly made a players-plus-cash offer for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

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