Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hughes Stoked That Allen Deal Wasn't Scuppered

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hughes Stoked That Allen Deal Wasn't Scuppered

Article excerpt

MARK Hughes had mixed emotions about Wales' incredible run at Euro 2016 as he plotted a move to bring Joe Allen to Stoke.

The Potters boss, a proud Welshman who won 72 caps as a player and later managed his country, watched Wales make history as they reached the semi-finals of a major competition for the first time, losing 2-0 to eventual winners Portugal.

Allen was a key figure in Wales' success and Hughes worried his performances in France might scupper his plans to sign the midfielder from Liverpool, who Stoke face at Anfield tomorrow evening.

So Hughes was relieved, and a little surprised, when the 26-year-old was allowed to leave for the bet365 Stadium in a PS13million deal in July.

"It was a bit difficult watching the Euros," he said. "I had two hats on - one as a Welshman, the other as a Premier League manager.

"There was a concern his performances might make Liverpool think again and there was a moment when they got to the semi-finals and I thought, 'Goodness me, if they get to the final we haveno chance! …

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