Lambert sticks to his guns but Crouch keen to join Chelsea
Stoke City manager Paul Lambert has told Chelsea that Peter Crouch is not for sale - but a deal for the striker could yet materialise.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is keen to sign a target man and, after a proposed move for West Ham's Andy Carroll was scuppered by injury, the Italian has switched his attentions elsewhere.
Chief among his targets is 6ft 7in Crouch, who turns 37 on January 30 and signed a contract extension until 2019 with the Potters last November.
However, the veteran former England international is understood to be keen for the deal to happen.
Crouch was a ballboy at Stamford Bridge as a youngster and comes from a family of Chelsea supporters.
Lambert held talks with Crouch this week and although his future was not discussed, the Scot revealed his determination to hang on to the player.
"I've no intention of letting him go," Lambert said after seeing his new charges beat Huddersfield 2-0.
"Peter has a great work ethic, knows the game really well and is an absolutely fantastic professional, the way he conducts himself.
"His game hasn't changed since he was a young guy. He's never going to run in behind - that's not his game. But what he has got is an incredible presence and a lovely touch for a big guy. If there's a nicer person in football, I've yet to meet him."
Crouch has scored four goals in 22 appearances for Stoke this season but has made only eight starts in the Premier League.
Stoke started brightly against Huddersfield but had to wait until the second half for goals as Joe Allen and Mame Diouf got their names on the scoresheet. (© Independent News Service)