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Hughes confident Arnautovic will stay at Stoke

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes is confident that attacker Marko Arnautovic will sign a new contract to remain with the club.

Reports claim Arnautovic has turned down fresh terms at the Britannia Stadium amid interest from French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

The Austria international signed for the club from Werder Bremen in 2013 and Hughes remains optimistic contract talks will end positively for Stoke.

He said: “It [the contract situation] is where it was just before Christmas. As with all negotiations, usually agents go in high and we go in low and somewhere in the future we get to the middle ground and something gets done.

“Sometimes they take longer than others, but as always we are very hopeful that Marko will be a big part of what we are doing moving forward and I think that is what he would like.

“It would be naive to think that is not what is going on. We are just going through that process and we go through that process with every re-negotiation we have. Hopefully it will be sorted out.”

Out-of-favour striker Peter Crouch, who has only played 44 minutes of Premier League football this season, also is also a player Hughes is keen to keep.

“I have not had any direct conversations with any manager with regard to Peter, but there is a lot of agents and middle men,” said Hughes.

“There have been a few enquiries, but he is one I want to keep here. Peter has not long signed a new contract. He came on in midweek and is very much a part of what we want to do.”

Hughes did not completely dismiss rumours linking Stoke with a January move for 23-year-old Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula.

The manager continued: “Lots of names get banded around and that is one of them.

“We are always in the market for good players but I don’t there is a massive urgency to get in [the January market]. However, if someone good is available we will have a look.

“We don’t look for guys to fill the squad as we have a good squad. We are only really looking for top quality players.”

Thu 7 Jan, 2016
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