August 11, 2017 / 11:36 AM / 9 days ago

Soccer-Stoke close to Martins Indi deal - Hughes

Aug 11 (Reuters) - Stoke City are close to signing defender Bruno Martins Indi but the deal may not be completed in time for him to feature in their opening Premier League game at Everton on Saturday, manager Mark Hughes has said.

The 25-year-old Netherlands international is hoping to make a permanent switch from Porto after making 35 league appearances for Stoke during a successful loan spell last season.

"My understanding is it's (the signing) very close," Hughes told a news conference on Friday. "All being well, he should be with us today at some point and hopefully we will get that done.

"It's one that's frustrated a lot of people, not least myself, but now it's likely to get done unless there's any last-minute hitches, but we don't anticipate any.

"It's probably going to be a day too late (for the Everton game). He will have a medical and that takes time, so the thinking is he will be ready to go from Monday."

Hughes also said the club turned down an enquiry from Joe Allen's former side Swansea City for the midfielder.

"They just asked would we be willing to allow him to leave and we said no," Hughes added.

"I think we have to respect that they came and they did that and because of the answer they got you'd like to think they will respect our position."

Stoke have lost several experienced players in the current transfer window, including midfielder Glenn Whelan, forward Marko Arnautovic and defender Phil Bardsley.

Hughes has recruited Darren Fletcher, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kurt Zouma on loan from Chelsea but is still hoping to boost the squad heading into the new season.

"We are still looking to bring in more players to freshen up the squad," said Hughes. "I'm aware we've lost a bit of experience in the dressing room but we've still got good players here who can step up to leadership roles."

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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