Hughes plans Stoke clear out
Wilfried Bony will lead an exodus of senior players at Stoke this summer as Mark Hughes strives to raise funds for new recruits.
The futures of £18.3 million (RM100.6 million) record-signing Gianelli Imbula, Bojan, Joselu, Philipp Wollscheid, and Marc Muniesa are all up in the air with Hughes admitting he needs to bring through younger players who will accept squad rotation.
It is understood Hughes must also lower the wage bill before making bids for first-team signings and the end of Bony’s loan from Manchester City is a certainty.
Stoke pick up £80,000 of Bony’s £120,000-a-week City wages but Hughes has dropped him from the last two matchday 18s.
Bony this week claimed his absence was ‘crazy’ but Hughes rates Peter Crouch, Saido Berahino and Mame Biram Diouf as better options.
Bony, who cost City £28 million in January 2015, has not played for Stoke since Dec 27 and scored only two goals all season, both against former club Swansea.
“Wilf had a good run initially of 10, 11 games and it’s fair to say he didn’t score as many goals as he or I would have liked,” said Hughes.
“He will have to be patient. He is behind a couple of players at the moment. I assume that’s why he has had a little bit of reaction in the press.”
Imbula has failed to make an impact since joining last season and is also likely to be made available, alongside Bojan, who is currently on loan at Mainz.
“It is fair to say this summer we will look at the make-up of the squad and maybe change things around a little bit,” said Hughes. “We probably won’t be as topheavy with senior players.
“When that’s the case it’s harder to keep everybody happy. If they are younger players they will accept it is part of their development if they are in and out of the squad.
“We will see the finances we have available and the money we can generate as well. That will all go into the same pot. And we will see if we can invest in the front 11 as well.”