Stoke has confirmed its appeal for a work permit for New England Revolution striker Juan Agudelo has been rejected.
The American international had signed a pre-contract agreement with the Potters in hopes of making a move to the Midlands club in January, but manager Mark Hughes and Chief Executive Tony Scholes were unsuccessful in presenting the Britannia Stadium outfit's case to a panel in London on Wednesday.
Scholes has been left disgruntled with the decision, which he believes was unjustified.
“We’re bitterly disappointed that the panel rejected our appeal for a work permit for Juan," he told Stoke's official website. "The criteria by which the panel should make work permit application decisions are well established and have been in place for some years and, despite recent comments to the media and discussion in the media, that criteria has not changed.
“We are therefore left amazed that our application for a work permit for Juan has been rejected when you compare his talent and ability to players who have been granted a work permit on appeal in the past."
The Potters have no recourse and will be unable to appeal the panel's ruling, while Scholes insisted an explanation was not provided as to why Agudelo wouldn't be granted a permit.
“Unfortunately, under the rules of the appeal panel system we were given no explanation why the application was rejected and so can only speculate as to the reasons why we have been unsuccessful.”
Scholes and Agudelo will be frustrated as current Potter Geoff Cameron won his appeal without incident in August 2012 and currently plays right back with the club. Agudelo may have suffered from not appearing in a national team match in more than a year. He was omitted from the Gold Cup roster with Jurgen Klinsmann calling for more consistency from the forward. He found some of that consistent form with the Revolution after being traded there from Chivas USA in May 2013, scoring seven goals in 14 appearances with the club.
- Sports & Recreation