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Stoke scouts seen spying on ‘new Hatem Ben Arfa’

| 24.11.2015

Stoke City scouts have been spotted spying on Bordeaux ace Wahbi Khazri, with the club considering a January swoop for the attacking midfielder.

The 24-year-old, born in Corsica, has represented France at U21 level but opted to play for Tunisia in 2013 and now has 13 caps for the African side.

Khazri came to prominence through a string of dazzling displays at Bastia before earning a move to Bordeaux in 2014.

He has since gone from strength-to-strength, scoring 14 goals in 48 games for the Ligue 1 side, earning comparisons with France international Hatem Ben Arfa.

Stoke are not alone in their admiration of the player, with Everton and Newcastle, who have a tried and tested method of signing emerging talent form the French top flight, also known to be keeping tabs on the player.

Potters scouts were in attendance, however, during Bordeaux’s recent 2-2 draw with Rennes and will hope to beat their rivals to the punch with an early bid once the transfer window opens.

Next up for Stoke is a trip to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland, with Mark Hughes’ men the 13/10 favourites to take all three points.

The Black Cats can be backed at 11/5, with the draw also priced up at 11/5.

With a top 10 finish on at 9/4 but a top six place a distant 25/1 it is clear that Hughes’ fledgling squad is not yet deemed good enough to challenge for European football.

However, a few more arrivals from the continent – with Khazri among them, and a cold Tuesday night in Stoke could become a reality for a number of Europe’s elite clubs.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.