Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has dismissed rumours linking Geoff Cameron with a move away from the club, stressing that the USA international remains an important part of his first-team plans.
According to reports, no fewer than five English clubs, plus a further four in Germany, have expressed interest in the versatile 29-year-old, with Hull City, Swansea City, Southampton, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion all said to be courting his signature.
However, Hughes has stressed that no approach has been made for Cameron and also moved to issue a hands-off warning to those who might be considering a bid.
‘We’ve had no contact from anybody and we won’t encourage that either,’ he told Sky Sports News.
‘Geoff was one of a number of players that had a big part in the success of last year so we haven’t got any intention in letting somebody of his quality go.’
Joining Stoke in July 2012, after starring with the Houston Dynamo for five seasons, Cameron has been a regular in the side over the past two campaigns, making most of his 72 Premier League appearances at right-back.
With 30 international caps since his 2010 debut, the former MLS stalwart also impressed during his US side’s run to the World Cup’s last-16 this summer, featuring in more comfortable roles in the centre of defence and defensive midfield.
Understood to want a move to one of those preferred spot, there were reports of friction between Cameron and his manager over his position in the starting XI but the American himself has quashed such claims.
‘My best position is centre midfield or centre-back, and that's where I played for the USA at the World Cup,’ he acknowledged.
‘But if the gaffer sees me playing right-back again, then I'm going to play right-back. I'm letting everyone else do the talking. As of now, I'm at Stoke and happy to be at Stoke.
‘My focus is on my playing and working hard every single day to try to better myself and better my team-mates.’
With the addition of Phil Bardsley from Sunderland in July, Cameron’s previous spot in the lineup would appear to be under threat for this coming season, but one could also see it as an opportunity for a long-awaited switch to elsewhere in the lineup.
Either way, the former £2 million man still has another two seasons left on his current deal and, with Hughes seeing his versatility as a valuable asset to the squad, a stay at the Britannia would appear to be the likeliest scenario.
Is Mark Hughes wise to keep hold of Geoff Cameron?