Stoke City boss Nathan Jones says he desperately wants Joe Allen to remain at the Bet365 Stadium amid reported interest from Premier League duo West Ham United and Watford, the Stoke Sentinel reports.
“We want him here, 100 per cent. He’s a wonderful player, a wonderful character, a wonderful athlete and he’s someone we want to keep and I will do everything I possibly can to keep him,” Jones explained.
“I believe he’s enjoying his football. He gets a lot of responsibility. We play the way that suits Joe and I think he’s settled. We’ll be having those conversations because no-one wants to lose their best players and Joe is definitely in that category.”
According to a recent report in the Telegraph, both West Ham United and Watford are tracking his services ahead of the summer as they look to take advantage of Stoke’s poor campaign in the Championship.
Following their relegation from the Premier League last season, Stoke were one of the favourites for promotion this term but they struggled under former boss Gary Rowett, prompting his sacking mid-season.
Allen joined Stoke from Liverpool in 2016 and only signed a new four-year deal last summer. The Welsh midfielder would have expected a promotion push, and Stoke’s failure now throws question marks over his future.
Allen isn’t worth that figure now, but he still has qualities and West Ham may feel with his experience he could add something to their squad as they look to close the gap on the Premier League’s top six.
Allen has played all 44 games for the Potters this season, scoring six goals and grabbing four assists. Alongside Jack Butland, he is by far Stoke’s most prized asset and capable of playing at a higher level.
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