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The 25-year-old has been linked with a return to the club from whose academy he graduated and his current boss says he would not stand in his way should an offer be made

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has admitted he would allow Ryan Shawcross to leave the club if the likes of Manchester United came calling.

Potters chairman Peter Coates is reportedly ready to offer the defender a new six-year deal as reward for his impressive performances since helping seal promotion to the Premier League.

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However, with Shawcross linked with a return to the club who sold him on at the age of 21, Pulis has insisted he is powerless to keep the centre-back should a "top four" side make their interest known.

“If a top-three or four club came in and they paid the money, there’s no way in a million years we’d be able to prevent Ryan from going,” Pulis told reporters.

“It’s a natural progression for players to play at the top level.

“If a top-four club came along and the money and everything was right for both the club and the player, then it would be very difficult to stop the player from going.

"Ryan is a fantastic man but he has to do the best he possibly can for himself and his family.”

Shawcross was named in the England squad on Thursday ahead of next week's friendly clash with Sweden.

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