Stoke will not be held ransom for Grant – Hughes
The Potters boss says he is interested in making the signing of the goalkeeper permanent but will only pay a fair price for the player who has exceeded expectations
Mark Hughes has warned Derby County that Stoke City will not be held to ransom when it comes to signing goalkeeper Lee Grant.
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Grant joined Stoke on loan at the start of the season to provide cover for injured number one Jack Butland, and has exceeded expectations since his arrival at the bet365 Stadium.
Potters boss Hughes said that, while he would be interested in making a permanent move for the shot-stopper, Stoke would not be willing to pay over the odds.
“We would like to get something done, but they are asking for too much money at the moment,” Hughes told reporters.
“We have a fee we feel he is worth – a market value, and we aren’t going to be held to ransom. If it doesn’t change soon then we will have to look at other options.
“He came here with no promises, no guarantees, but circumstances have allowed him to come into the team and he has been fantastic for us. We were conceding too readily and he has steadied the ship.”
Stoke host reigning champions Leicester City this Saturday and Hughes insists they remain a serious threat despite a disappointing title defence that sees them just four points above the bottom three.
“It’s always difficult after winning the title and Leicester are finding that out,” he said.
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“Their away form has been surprising this season because they set up to play on the counter-attack and you would expect them to have picked more points up on the road.
“I don’t think there is any fear of them going down this season – they are just struggling for continuity in terms of results. You can see the ability they have – they will be fine. They will just be a little frustrated.”
Hughes has no new injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s clash, with Marc Muniesa and Erik Pieters both expected to recover from mid-week knocks.
He did however hint that he would be looking to add new recruits to his ranks during the January transfer window.
“We are constantly looking at opportunities and I am sure we will be getting calls in January,” Hughes added.
“There is money there, and if a player becomes available who we feel will help us then I am sure we will be able to get it done. We want players who will make a major impact straight away rather than squad players.”