Agudelo, We Hardly Knew Ye: Striker Set to Join Stoke City in January

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

It seems that Stoke City have won the race for Juan Agudelo's signature, beating out Valencia and another unnamed Premier League club. Agudelo will be joining three other U.S. internationals on the Stoke City squad once his MLS contract expires at the end of this season.

The Juan Agudelo saga seems to be coming to a close, with Soccer By Ives reporting that the striker has signed a "pre-contract" (yes, that's a thing) with Stoke City to join the Potters in the January transfer window. According to SBI, MLS players with 6 months or less on their contract with the league can sign pre-contract agreements and leave once their MLS deal expires.

Ives also mentions that Stoke are still in talks with New England to possibly transfer him sooner, which I assume means before the end of the winter window (on Thursday) or maybe just before the send of the MLS season.

We have yet to hear from the Revolution on this news, but it would seem as of now that Agudelo will continue to play with the Revs through the end of the season and hopefully help them earn a playoff spot once he returns to the pitch from his knee injury.

There are still some big question marks though. Agudelo clearly wants out, even though things seemed to be going rather swimmingly for him in Foxborough prior to his recent injury. How will this affect his dedication to the team down the final stretch? And just how many games will he play for the Revs between now and November? As far as I know, there is still no concrete timeline on his return. Many questions, indeed.

Despite the unfortunate news, it shouldn't come as much of a shock to Revs fans that Agudelo will be gone in January. It was known right from the get-go that his move to New England was strictly until the end of the season, when his contract with MLS expires. There was of course an opportunity for New England to offer Agudelo a DP contract, something that was once said could potentially keep him in the league, but it may have been the case that Agudelo's mind was simply made up about leaving for Europe this winter.

We'll see if the Revs can get any further productivity out of him in their final 12 games of the season as they try desperately to stay in the race for a spot in the playoffs.

EDIT: The Revolution Front Office has offered this statement regarding Agudelo's heavily-rumored transfer to Stoke City:
"We are aware of the stories circulating about Juan Agudelo, but as we’re sure you can understand, we cannot address anything publicly unless an official announcement has been made. But we can state that Juan is near full health and due back to the squad soon to help us as we push toward the playoffs the last three months of the season."
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