Stoke City chairman Peter Coates is wary of splashing out on foreign signings.

He warns against blindly following fads in football after seeing Newcastle United's surprise success this term underpinned by European acquisitions such as Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tioté and Yohan Cabaye.

"Everybody is lauding Newcastle," Coates told The Sentinel, "and they have done well.

"But it can be hit and miss, a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack sometimes.

"We simply want to attract players who are right for the club, wherever they are from.

"It's all about getting the right ones who can improve you within your budget."