Midlands latest: Hughes issues hands off warning on Stoke star, Villa defender departs

We bring you the latest news from Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City and Stoke City.

1) Mark Hughes will not sell Peter Crouch

Mark Hughes has moved to quash West Ham United's hopes of signing Peter Crouch, after their interest in the tall striker has been rumoured in recent times.

Crouch’s future at the Britannia Stadium was plunged into doubt this summer after the Potters captured Mame Biram Diouf and Bojan, but Hughes has revealed that the ageing England international is still part of his plans.

“Crouchie has been linked with moves since I have come to the club,” he said.

"I take it all with a pinch of salt."

“Peter was great for me last year and he is a player we want to keep.”

2) Wolves offer Gilles Ruyssen a trial

Wolverhampton Wanderers have offered Belgian defender, Gilles Ruyssen, a trial at the club as Kenny Jackett seeks new additions for his side’s Championship season.

The centre-back currently plays for AA Gent, but is understood to be keen on a move to England and will complete a switch if he does enough to impress Jackett.

At the age of 20, he is likely to be utilised as back-up for the time-being, but will be hoping to breach the first-team in the near future if he is signed up.

3) Pearce rages at player sales

Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce is fuming at the club’s board for allowing Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles to join Newcastle United.

The duo were considered two of Forest’s finest young players and Pearce was desperate to keep hold of them, revealing they were sold against he will.

However, despite his anger at the transfer, he says he will not walk away from the club.

"This can be overcome but I am not prepared to fluff things when it comes to what was said and done behind the scenes," he said. "Two players were sold against my will."

"I am not prepared to walk away from this club, because I love the club too much and I love the fans."

Forest are thought to have received around £7 million for the pair, who will be loaned back to the City Ground for this season by Newcastle.

4) Antonio Luna joins Hellas Verona

Aston Villa defender, Antonio Luna, has moved to Italian side Hellas Verona on a season-long-loan.

The full-back was brought in by Paul Lambert last summer, but has failed to nail down a first-team spot at Villa Park and already his future looks in doubt.

The 23-year-old made just 17 appearances for Villa last year and will be hoping he enjoys his football more in Italy after completing his move.

5) Confidence high at Leicester

Andy King says that confidence is high at Leicester City, after the Premier League newboys picked up a 2-0 win against MK Dons last night.

The Foxes won the friendly against the League One side thanks to goals from David Nugent and Nigel Pearson’s son, James, and King believes that the winning mentality they have developed over pre-season will stand them in good stead when the competitive campaign starts.

“We’ve not lost yet so our confidence is high and we want to try to keep that going in the next couple of games as well,” he said to the club’s official site.

“I’m massively excited. I’ve waited so long to have the chance to play in the Premier League with this Club, so it’s something I’m desperately looking forward to and I just want it to come around now."

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