• Premier League

United target Shawcross not for sale, warns Hughes

ESPN staff
October 18, 2014
Ryan Shawcross is being tipped as a possible defensive option for Manchester United © Getty Images
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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says Ryan Shawcross is not for sale after he was linked with Manchester United.

Shawcross, who came through the youth ranks at Old Trafford, is reported to be of interest to Louis van Gaal as the United manager looks to add to his defensive options in January.

While no movement has been made to sign him as yet, the centre-back is reportedly viewed as an option by United, but Hughes insists he has no intention of cashing in on his captain.

"I'm not sure where that originated from," Hughes said. "I think somebody told me it might have come from America at some point.

"There's been no contact and I don't expect there to be any, and we wouldn't encourage any contact anyway. Ryan is very settled here, he is the captain of the club and we have no intention of allowing him to leave. He's a big part of what we want to do in the future."

Hughes also revealed he is keen to keep striker Peter Crouch, 33, beyond the end of the season and said they "spoke briefly" about the prospect of a contract extension.

"I think Peter is one of those players who is quite unique in what he offers, so you can see the attraction that other clubs maybe have in terms of bringing him to them," Hughes added.

"We value Peter and we would certainly like him to stay if we can come to some agreement because he does give us a different type of threat and one that opponents find really difficult to cope with. We are hopeful there will be some common ground and that we'll be able to progress.

"It's still very early in discussions to be honest and Peter is in quite a strong position in terms of going into the last year of his contract, but I sense he is really happy here, and that he enjoys the work he gets and playing with the players he has around him.

"All those things will be taken into account I'm sure when a decision is made."

Hughes expects forwards Victor Moses and Mame Biram Diouf to be back available for Sunday's game at home to Swansea but also has fresh injury concerns.

Moses, who came off in the 3-1 loss at Sunderland on Oct. 4 due to a thigh problem, and Diouf, absent from the game because of a hamstring complaint, have both trained for the last couple of days.

However, midfielder Glenn Whelan looks set to miss out having picked up a knee issue playing for the Republic of Ireland, forward Marko Arnautovic will have to shake off a hip injury sustained on Austria duty if he is to feature, and defender Robert Huth is a doubt with a calf problem.

On Whelan, Hughes said: "We have a big worry over Glenn unfortunately. He had to come off in the international match and is going for scans today just to get a real, understanding of what's going on.

"He took a big bang on his leg and is in a lot of pain at the moment, so we need to get the bottom of that."

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