Stoke City manager Mark Hughes desperate to keep Jonathan Walters

Jonathan Walters Stoke City

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has admitted he wants to keep hold of forward Jonathan Walters who continues to be linked with a move to Norwich City.

The former Ipswich Town star missed Stoke’s clash against the Canaries on Saturday due to illness but speculation continued after the final whistle.

The Republic of Ireland international has been linked with a move to Carrow Road with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

He has made 178 appearances for Stoke in five seasons, scoring 34 goals in the process for the Potters. Although the club could cash in on Walters now, Hughes insists he wants him to remain at the Britannia Stadium.

The former Manchester City boss also refused to criticise Norwich after they leaked the bid just hours before kick-off at the weekend.

Hughes said: “He knows my feelings – we want him to stay. Norwich did make a bid but it was nowhere near our valuation of what Jon gives us, so that was sent back very, very quickly.

“That was a bit of mischief, if I’m honest, that’s probably what it was. It happens – I have probably been guilty of it myself in the past so I’m not going to be holier-than-thou and criticise Norwich for that.

“He wants a bit more in terms of length of contract, that’s fair to say, but we hope we can come to an agreement. If he doesn’t sign, then we will probably just keep him and run his contract down.”

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