Stoke City should look again at Kyriakos Papadopoulos
Stoke City were credited with an interest in Kyriakos Papadopoulos in the summer. The Greek international defender was looking for a way out of Bayer Leverkusen and several clubs were keen on his services.
Papadopoulos ended up going on loan to RB Leipzig, but a knee problem led to minor surgery and his loan was cut short in January. Then the defender went to Hamburg on loan and he’s been brilliant since for the German club.
Quickly becoming a Hamburg fan favourite, Papadopoulos has now scored two goals since making the move and already put in a couple of Man of the Match performances. Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport even included the defender in their latest European Team of the Week.
It justifies any interest Mark Hughes had in the player and Stoke City could have another opportunity of a transfer in the summer. German newspaper Bild believe Papadopoulos’ performances could be pushing him out of Hamburg’s price range.
Hamburg have a comparatively small budget and are currently fighting relegation. Bild say a fee of around €12m to €15m would be enough to see Bayer Leverkusen sell, and that’s relatively easy for Stoke City but not so easy for Hamburg.
Stoke signed Bruno Martins-Indi on loan from Porto in the summer, in a deal which has a good chance of being made permanent. Marc Muniesa has openly considered leaving the club, with Real Betis keen in January, so Hughes could be looking to add again in the summer.
Papadopoulos has a contract with his parent club Bayer Leverkusen until June 2020 but he’s never really been settled there since moving from Schalke. Linked to several Premier League clubs in the past, Hughes could likely tempt Papadopoulos as long as he gave him a fighting chance of first team football at Stoke.