Thursday 24 May 2018

Hughes set for Berahino battle with Tottenham

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

John Percy

Stoke boss Mark Hughes is ready to rival Tottenham Hotspur in the £20 million chase for Saido Berahino this summer.

Hughes will renew his interest in the West Bromwich Albion striker but admits he may not be able to compete with Spurs, who face Stoke at the Britannia Stadium tonight.

Stoke and Tottenham both considered bids for Berahino in January but were told by Jeremy Peace, the West Brom chairman, that he was not for sale. Spurs made four offers to sign the England Under-21 international last summer and are expected to revive their attempt to bring him to White Hart Lane when the season ends.

"By all accounts Spurs will always have an interest in quite a few players we are interested in," said Hughes. "There are players out there who you express an interest in - but because they are good players, there will always be other teams involved.

"If we're being realistic, if a player has a choice of Spurs or Stoke, then we could pitch up and make a good case for them to come here. But they may feel Spurs is a more attractive option and we have to accept that."

Hughes is weighing up whether to play goalkeeper Shay Given tonight against Stoke.

Given, 40 this week, has been overlooked in favour of rookie keeper Jakob Haugaard after Jack Butland was ruled out for the season with a broken ankle. But Haugaard conceded four goals at Liverpool in Stoke's last game and Given may make his first league appearance since May.

Hughes said: "Clean sheets help. We haven't had that continuity of the same back four, back five week-in, week-out and that will have an impact on your ability to keep clean sheets." (©The Daily Telegraph, London)

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