• Premier League

Stoke capture Barca defender Muniesa

ESPN staff
July 2, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Mark Hughes raided former club Barcelona for his second summer signing © PA Photos
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Stoke City have signed defender Marc Muniesa from Barcelona on a free transfer.

The 21-year-old, who was a member of the Spain squad that recently won the European Under-21 Championship, has signed a four-year contract.

He becomes manager Mark Hughes' second signing following the arrival of Netherlands international Erik Pieters from PSV Eindhoven last week.

Muniesa told the club's official website: "I'm very excited about moving to England to play for Stoke City and will do everything I can to help the club.

"It wasn't a big decision for me to make. I came to England yesterday to meet the people at the club and look around the training ground, which is very impressive.

"My season only finished a fortnight ago when the European Championships ended but I can't wait to get started for Stoke. I would start tomorrow if the club asked me to."

Hughes, who served Barcelona as a player himself in the 1980s, said: "Marc has been well-schooled by Barca. Technically, he's a very good player and I've no doubts he will be an excellent addition to our squad.

"I know he's very highly-regarded in Spain and was attracting interest from clubs in La Liga but he's an ambitious young man and wants to test himself in English football."

Chief executive Tony Scholes added: "Marc has an excellent pedigree, as you would expect from someone who has come through the ranks at a club like Barcelona, and we're delighted to have secured his signature.

"We were alerted to his availability and moved quickly to make him a Stoke City player. The whole process was greatly helped by Mark Hughes' links with Barcelona and it's clear to see he's very excited by the challenge of making an impact in the Premier League with us."

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