Transfer news: Mark Hughes says Stoke's scouting network gives them an advantage
Mark Hughes believes Stoke's comprehensive scouting network puts them "ahead of the game" in the transfer market.
Last Updated: 15/07/13 3:19pm
Hughes replaced Tony Pulis in the Britannia Stadium hotseat in May and has already added to his squad, snapping up Erik Pieters from PSV Eindhoven for £3million and Marc Muniesa from Barcelona on a free transfer.
The pair were recommended to Hughes by Mark Cartwright, who joined the club as technical director last December and heads its scouting and player recruitment department.
The former Blackburn and Manchester City boss feels the detailed knowledge Cartwright and his scouting team have of the transfer market gives him the edge over many of his Premier League rivals.
The Welshman highlights the capture of highly-rated youngster Muniesa, who was linked with a host of clubs prior to his move to the Potters, as a prime example.
"It's working well. We have the right people in the right positions to make things happen and we have good contacts all over Europe," he told The Sentinel.
"With my contacts and those of Mark and the rest of the recruitment guys, we have a lots of bases covered.
"It has had a good start with Erik Pieters coming in as well as Marc Muniesa, who we had to move quickly on. That is reassuring because we are able to get a young player who might have been off the radar of most clubs because they didn't understand the situation.
"We were able to conclude it quickly, which you have to do when an outstanding player comes available. You have to move either before these players come on the market, or before their situation becomes known.
"With the insight we now have into most markets, we were ahead of the game."