Mark Hughes says he would like to keep Peter Crouch at Stoke beyond this season and claims the striker remains in his plans.
The 35-year-old has only started twice in the Premier League for the Potters this term and admitted this week he is growing frustrated with his lack of action.
Hughes has now reassured the former England international that he is still a valuable part of the Stoke set-up, and he does not intend to let him leave in the summer, although he admits that if the right offer came along he would not stand in the veteran’s way.
“I can understand Pete’s frustration,” said Hughes. “In fairness he’s made appearances this year, but not as many as he would have liked, that’s fair to stay.
“But he’s still very much in my thoughts and he’s got another 12 months.
“We were quite happy when we re-contracted Peter (14 months ago) because he gives us a lot of things that other people covet.
“Obviously I feel he’s got an important role again next year so that is my thinking on it.
“Sometimes you have to be fair to players if something comes around and it seems attractive to them.
“We’re not encouraging anybody to think they can come and take Pete because although I probably haven’t shown it to him in terms of appearances, he is still very much part of what we’re doing here.”