Stoke City boss Hughes issues Begovic hands-off warning

The Potters boss believes that the Bosnian will shine in Brazil next year but plans to work with him for many years to come despite the extra attention he is bound to receive

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has issued potential suitors a hands-off warning for star goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

21/10 Stoke City are 21/10 with BetVictor to win their next Premier League game
The Bosnian shot-stopper has only conceded seven goals in the Premier League for the Potters this season, including three clean sheets – most recently against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

But Hughes wants the former Portsmouth stopper to stay at Stoke City for many years to come, while he also believes he will excel at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Hughes told reporters: "We've got one of the top keepers in Europe. When he goes to the World Cup, he might prove he's one of the best in the world.

"I'd like to work with Asmir for many, many seasons because I think he's that good. He's had a great week - qualifying for the World Cup and putting in an outstanding performance for us."

Stoke Chairman Peter Coates is also disinclined to sell Begovic but admits he would listen to the right

"We would be reluctant to sell him because you want to keep your best players but you have to be realistic about things," said Coates. "You also have to take into consideration the player's view.

"If a call came from a top European club and was attractive to him, then you have to look at it.

"It wouldn't be much of a surprise to me and that's why we have contingency plans in place with other goalkeepers at the club."