Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka has confirmed that Stoke City tried to sign him from Schalke this summer.
The 27-year-old has been on Mark Hughes’ radar for some time, but the Potters lost out to Sevilla when they tried to lure the attacker to the Britannia Stadium from Dnipro in 2015.
Konoplyanka only managed a year in Spain, during which time he helped Sevilla win the Europa League, before he moved to Germany and staright into a row with manager Markus Weinzierl.
The pair fell out and this summer started with Konoplyanka labelling Weinzierl ‘a coward who will get the club relegated’, leading to talk that the Ukranian would be sold immediately.
The link to Stoke resurfaced again, particularly after the Potters sold Marko Arnautovic to West Ham, with Konoplyanka telling the Ukrainian media that Hughes’ men, Inter Milan, Galatasaray and Lazio all wanted to sign him, according to the report in the Stoke Sentinel.
However, the Schalke board sided with the forward and sacked Weizierl to bring in Domenico Tedesco, who immediately reinstalled Konoplyanka as a major part of the first-team’s plans.
Konoplyanka has rewarded the club’s faith in him by scoring three goals in his first three games of the season, while Stoke went on to sign a different Schalke player instead in free agent Maxim Choupo-Moting.