Premier League

Hughes looking to move forward

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Thu, 30 May 2013 13:05:00

Andre Schurrle's proposed move from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea looks to have moved a step closer after the Bundesliga club's general manager said a fee had been agreed.

Schurrle, who is understood to have already agreed personal terms with the Blues, is on international duty for Germany in the USA but is expected to fly back via London to finalise the deal.

The 22-year-old is set to join the Europa League winners in a reported ?20m deal that will see Belgium international Kevin de Bruyne move in the opposite direction on loan.

"We have reached an agreement with Chelsea," Wolfgang Holzhauser told the Rheinische Post newspaper.

"They are going to buy Andre Schurrle for a specific fee and, in return, they will loan De Bruyne to us for a year for free.

"I expect Chelsea to stand by what has been agreed."

De Bruyne's involvement appears to have been a sticking point, with talk of Borussia Dortmund's interest briefly putting the deal in doubt.

Hughes, who most recently managed QPR and was sacked by the club last November, was confirmed as the Potters' new boss on a three-year deal at a press conference alongside chairman Peter Coates.

"I'm absolutely delighted to get the opportunity," Hughes said.

"The Coates family have given me this opportunity and I'm really grateful. I'm pleased they have done their due diligence and looked beyond my last position and taken my career as a manager as a whole. I have the opportunity to work with good people.

"With the passion in the area, this is very much a local club that's close to its community. The passion and real desire from the crowd for the team is obvious."

Hughes, 49, spoke about his time at QPR which ended with Harry Redknapp taking the reins after their poor start which culminated in their eventual relegation to the Championship.

"It was difficult at QPR and a lot of managers have gone in there and found it difficult," Hughes said.

"Their turnover of managers, not just in the last 18 months, but historically has been high. It was difficult and mistakes were made.

"I made mistakes which I learned from but I felt I was given the task of keeping them in the Premier League which I managed to do.

"I had 17 games to do that and 12 games later I lost my job.

"It was a difficult situation with a lot of chances and if we are honest with ourselves we tried to run before we could walk.

"From my point of view it's all about the here and now and moving Stoke forward."

The former Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham boss hailed Pulis for the work he has done with stabilising the club over the last seven years, but said he will be looking to bring more entertaining football to the Potteries.

"It's a big decision that has been made and I understand the success Tony had enables me to have a better chance," Hughes added.

"He's put things in place to make the club more stable and is conducive to being in the Premier League and I will reap the benefits of that.

"Stoke have been in the Premier League for a number of years now and have the understanding of what it takes to win Premier League games.

"It's not a case of wiping away the hard work of previous seasons. I'd like to make then a little bit more offensive but we're not going to chuck the baby out with the bathwater. It's about steady progress.

"Sometimes you get labelled with a certain way of playing. I can only take the club forward as I know and my philosophy is to play football, the play good football, make chances and make it entertaining for the fans who pay good money to come and see us."

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