Sunday 18 March 2018

Jonathan Walters facing Stoke exit as contract talks hit roadblock

Stoke's Jonathan Walters
Stoke's Jonathan Walters

John Percy

Ireland international Jonathan Walters looks to be on his way out of Stoke City after it emerged that contract talks between player and club have collapsed.

Walters has been a popular figure at the Britannia Stadium since arriving there in 2010 and has been a key player in establishing them as consistent Premier League performers.

Having played 176 games for Stoke, Walters only has one year left on his deal but negotiations to extend the contract have stalled with Walters understood to be unhappy with the terms on offer.

Should both parties agree that a transfer is the best solution, Walters is likely to be a target for the former manager Tony Pulis, at West Bromwich Albion, and Hull City.

Last month, Pulis took another Irish international to the Hawthorns when he signed James McClean from Wigan Athletic following their relegation to League One.

Walters' Stoke team-mate Asmir Begovic is also facing an exit from the Britannia Stadium with Chelsea set to make an improved £8 million offer for the goalkeeper. Begovic is the No 1 target for Jose Mourinho as he seeks a replacement for Petr Cech and a second bid is expected in the next 24 hours .

Stoke are pressing ahead with their own recruitment drive and have agreed a club-record £12m fee with Inter Milan for Shaqiri. The Swiss star, 23, has struggled in Italy since joining in January from Bayern Munich.

However, the early signs are that Shaqiri is not interested in a move to the Premier League. Stoke accept it will take significant negotiating to secure his signature. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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