Stoke sign Saido Berahino from West Brom for £12m
Mark Hughes beats off competition from Watford and West Ham for English striker
Stoke have agreed a fee of £10 million with West Bromwich Albion for striker Saido Berahino. Photograph: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire
Stoke City have completed the signing of the West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino, beating off competition from Watford and West Ham United.
Mark Hughes has shown interest in the 23-year-old in the past two transfer windows, although the Stoke manager admitted on Friday morning that his hopes of sealing a transfer were fading.
However, with Berahino’s contract expiring in the summer and the striker having failed to make a first-team appearance since September, West Brom were keen to resolve the issue before the end of the month and accepted a bid of an initial £12 million (€13.9 million), with a £3 million (€3.45 million) potentially due in bonuses.
Berahino has signed a five-and-a-half-year and the Stoke City chief executive Tony Scholes said: “It’s no secret that we have been looking to bring Saido to the club for a long time and to suggest that we are pleased to have finally concluded the deal is an understatement.
“We’ve signed a young English striker who has already proven his ability in the Premier League. After a frustrating period he’s now desperately keen to reignite his career.”
The news was in sharp contrast to earlier in the day when neither Hughes nor the West Brom manager, Tony Pulis, sounded too optimistic about reaching an agreement. Hughes said there had been no progress since last week while Pulis described Stoke’s initial offer as “nowhere near” Albion’s valuation of the player.
“I’m so overwhelmed and happy and I just can’t wait to get started and meet all the lads and get cracking on,” Berahino told stokecityfc.com.
“I didn’t expect anything to happen this afternoon but I got a call from West Brom telling me I was free to speak to Stoke. I was the happiest man on the motorway driving up here this afternoon.”
Hughes, meanwhile, said the playmaker Bojan Krkic has not expressed a desire to leave Stoke. The Spaniard has started only six games all season and has been linked with a move to Middlesbrough.