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Mark Hughes: I don't want Glenn Whelan to leave Stoke

STOKE City have promised to do all they can to keep Ireland star Glenn Whelan at the club.

The midfielder is out of contract at Stoke at the end of this season but talks on a new contract have failed to progress.

According to their club policy, Stoke will not offer new contracts longer than 12 months to players who are over 30, but Whelan - along with fellow thirty-something Peter Crouch - is not keen on just a one-year deal and is seeking a longer contract.

As he is free to speak to other clubs from next month, there were fears that Stoke could move quickly and try to sell Whelan when the January transfer window opens, and it was reported that Premier League rivals Sunderland and Crystal Palace were keen to snap up Whelan if he was available.

But Stoke boss Mark Hughes says that the club are keen to keep Whelan at the Britannia Stadium.

"From our point of view we don't anticipate anybody leaving in January. Glenn Whelan is somebody we want to keep in the building," Hughes said as he prepared his side for Monday's meeting with Chelsea.

Whelan, 30, joined Stoke from Sheffield Wednesday in 2008 and the popular Dubliner is one of the longest-serving players at the club. Whelan and his family are settled in the area but the player is aware that, as he turns 31 next month, his next contract could be the last major deal of his career.


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