Stoke City sign Dutch international Ibrahim Afellay

Capped 50 times by Holland he now joins former Barcelona team-mate Bojan Krkic

Stoke City have announced the signing of the former Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay. The 29-year-old has signed a two-year contract with the Premier League club and will link up with his new team-mates in France.

The club said on their Twitter feed: “SCFC are delighted to announce the signing of Dutch international winger Ibrahim Afellay.”

Afellay arrives at the Britannia Stadium after his contract with Barcelona expired over the course of the summer. Capped 50 times by Holland, he joins fellow countrymen Erik Pieters and Chelsea loanee Marco van Ginkel in the Stoke squad, along with the former Barcelona team-mates Bojan Krkic, Marc Muniesa and Moha El Ouriachi.

City's chief executive, Tony Scholes, told his club's website: "It's no secret that Ibrahim was wanted by a number of clubs and we are understandably delighted that he has chosen to join us.


“He’s clearly excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League and the fact that he knows so many players who are already at the club will no doubt help him settle into his new surroundings.”

Afellay, who has flown to Stoke’s pre-season training camp in Evian, started his career with PSV Eindhoven. He won a whole host of honours during his time with Barcelona – including the Champions League – although his time at the Camp Nou was disrupted by injury problems. He made just 21 league appearances for the club and had loan spells with Schalke and Olympiakos.

He becomes Stoke's eighth close-season signing following the arrivals of Philipp Wollscheid, Jakob Haugaard, Joselu, Van Ginkel, Glen Johnson, Shay Given and Moha.

Meanwhile former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has made the switch to Major League Soccer by signing for Montreal Impact.

The 37-year-old Ivorian was a free agent following the end of his second spell with the Blues, for whom he scored 164 goals across nine seasons at Stamford Bridge.

The deal for Drogba also involves Chicago Fire. The American franchise had filed a discovery claim for the former Galatasaray player but Montreal have now acquired his rights for an undisclosed fee.

Montreal president Joey Saputo told “It’s an honour to welcome Didier Drogba to the Impact.

“From the first conversation I had with him, I felt that he really wanted to play in Montreal. This is one of the biggest days in club history and his arrival to the club will be beneficial in every aspect.”