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Tuesday 02 July 2013

Stoke City sign Barcelona defender Marc Muniesa

21-year-old defender joins on a free transfer afte winning U21 Euro title with Spain

Muniesa, second right, won the UEFA European U21 Championship with Spain last month

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has made his second signing of the summer with the arrival of defender Marc Muniesa from Barcelona on a free transfer.

Muniesa, 21, was a member of the Spain squad who won the European Under-21 Championship this summer and has signed a four-year contract.

"I can’t wait to get started for Stoke. I would start tomorrow if the club asked me to"
Marc Muniesa

 “I’m very excited about moving to England to play for Stoke City and will do everything I can to help the Club,” Muniesa told the Stoke website. “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.”

Muniesa is the second signing after that of Erik Pieters, the PSV Eindhoven left-back last week.

“Marc has been well-schooled by Barca,” Hughes said. “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.”

Hughes was a former player for Barcelona and his contacts there helped to make the deal possible. “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,” Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes said. “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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Key Points

  • Stoke City sign Barcelona defender Marc Muniesa on a free transfer
  • 21-year-old signs a four-year deal to be Mark Hughes' second signing
  • Muniesa recently helped Spain to glory in the Euro U21 Championships