Stoke City boss Mark Hughes is interested in bringing Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina to the Britannia Stadium as he looks to strengthen his playing squad ahead of the new season.

​As reported in the Guardian, Hughes is attempting to bolster his options in midfield with Lemina emerging as one of the club’s key transfer targets.

Lemina joined Juventus for a fee of £7.5m in April, having spent last season on loan in Turin from Marseille. The Gabon international started for the Italian champions on seven occasions, operating mainly as a defensive midfielder.

Juventus are also rumoured to be interested in the sale of Lemina, having already outlaid £26m for the services of AS Roma’s Miralem Pjanic. The Old Lady remain keen to recoup some of Pjanic’s transfer fee, with the 22-year-ol​d’s sale to Stoke City set to narrow the losses.

Lemina has been a transfer target of a number of Premier League clubs already this summer. Champions Leicester City made an offer for the youngster, before instead opting to sign Nampalys Mendy instead. 

Meanwhile, Watford are another club who have been linked with Lemina’s services, although it is believed that they no longer have an interest in pursuing the target.

Stoke will also face competition for the Gabon star’s signature from across the continent. German side RZ Leipzig are in the frame to sign the midfielder, following their promotion to the Bundesliga.

The addition, Lemina would certainly bolster Hughes’ midfield options, not least following the news of Glenn Whelan’s one-year contract extension with the club.

The question remains, can he do it on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke? Maybe we are about to find out…

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