Stoke chief executive Scholes plays down Shawcross exit reports

Stoke have moved to dispel rumours that defender Ryan Shawcross could be set to quit the Britannia Stadium, with champions Man City thought to be admirers, according to Sky Sports.

Club chief executive Tony Scholes has stated that it is the Potters’ intentions to only strengthen this summer, and denied that any contact has been made about Shawcross’ availability.

Speaking to the Sentinel, Scholes said: “It comes as no surprise to me what I have read about Ryan. I don’t know if there is any truth in it, but certainly we have had no contact. Players like him and (Stoke goalkeeper) Asmir Begovic, just to name a couple, will attract attention. That’s part and parcel of being a successful football team.

“That’s the way it’s always going to be. It’s one of the prices of doing well, but it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to do business with them. We don’t need to sell. We’ve been going through our situation for next year, our budgets, what is available in terms of buying players and players’ wages and we are not in a position where we need to sell.

“We are looking to strengthen and move forward.”

Scholes also added that he believes Shawcross should have been in the England World Cup squad, with the 26-year-old yet to add to the solitary cap he won for the Three Lions back in 2012. But Shawcross, who was named Stoke’s Player of the Year for this season, was not even named as a standby – and Scholes is baffled.

“Ryan’s had six great years in the Premier League and that’s quite something for a player of his age,” he continued.

“It is interesting that he has reportedly attracted the attention of big clubs in the way he didn’t seem to attract Roy Hodgson’s attention.

“Anyone around these parts will think he should be on that flight to Brazil with England.”

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