Thursday 20 October 2016

No buy-out clause in Bojan Krkic contract - Mark Hughes

Published 04/01/2016 | 18:00

Bojan Krkic has declared himself
Bojan Krkic has declared himself "very happy" at Stoke

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has dismissed talk of Bojan Krkic having a buy-out clause in his contract and stressed the playmaker is not about to leave the club.

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It has been reported the Potters are in danger of losing Bojan during the transfer window that has just opened due to a release clause of just £10million.

But when asked about that on Monday at his press conference to preview Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg home clash with Liverpool, Hughes said: "There's no clause.

"There's no intention or desire from us as a club (for the player to be sold) or from Bojan or his people from the conversations I've had - he's very happy and we are very happy with him.

"I think it's just a normal January story. It's just a little big of mischief making I think.

"Obviously there is a lot of speculation and I think every club gets that in terms of their star players.

"That is what we are getting at the moment, but there's a lot of misinformation."

Marko Arnautovic, who along with Spaniard Bojan and Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri has formed a potent front three for Stoke this season, has also been linked with a move away, with Paris St Germain the reported interested party.

But Hughes played that down on Monday as well, saying: "Take these stories with a pinch of salt. Where they originate from nobody really knows.

"Whether it's people trying to create a market, or it's people close to the players, I don't know. I'm sure Marko himself doesn't know anything of any interest.

"A lot of these stories are without substance. They run their course and then you usually find players are still where they were at the beginning of January - which is where we feel we'll be at the end of this window."

Hughes also said talks over a new deal were continuing with Austria international Arnautovic, who has 18 months left on his current deal.

Stoke head into Tuesday's match on the back of a defeat having lost 2-1 at West Brom on Saturday, but that was only the fourth reverse in their last 15 Barclays Premier League games.

They have also emerged triumphant from five of their last six home games in all competitions, including a victory on penalties over Chelsea in the Capital One Cup fourth round and wins in the league against Manchester City and Manchester United.

And Hughes said: "Ideally we want a winning advantage to take into the second leg at Anfield.

"What we don't want obviously is to be out of the tie, but we don't feel that will happen - we are very strong at the moment at home and playing exceptionally well there.

"We are giving good teams like Liverpool real problems. Teams have to be at their best to withstand us at home."

This is Stoke's first League Cup semi-final appearance since 1971-72, the season in which they claimed what is the only piece of major silverware in their history by winning the trophy.

And Hughes added: "It is a game of significance for us, and these are the games we want to be involved in in the future as well - hopefully it is the first of many.

"The anticipation of the game is something we are working with and enjoying."

Stoke will have midfielder Geoff Cameron available after his red card from the weekend was rescinded.

Cameron was facing a three-game suspension having been sent off against West Brom, but the Potters announced on Monday they were lodging an appeal and the Football Association later confirmed it had been successful.

The only injury concerns are defender Phil Bardsley, a doubt having pulled up in training on Monday, and goalkeeper Shay Given, who remains sidelined by a knee problem.

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