Transfer news

No Stoke u-turn for Nzonzi

June 1, 2013
By Ian Edwards

Steven Nzonzi will press ahead with his desire to quit Stoke City this summer - despite the appointment of Mark Hughes as the club's new manager.

Premier League
PA PhotosSteven Nzonzi has made 35 appearances for Stoke and scored one goal

Hughes has stated that one of his first tasks in his new role is to do all he can to persuade Nzonzi to withdraw the transfer request he submitted last month and be part of his long-term plans at the Britannia Stadium.

Nzonzi has a meeting planned with Hughes next week, but ESPN understands that the midfielder remains intent on leaving the club he joined from Blackburn Rovers for £3 million less than a year ago.

A source close to Nzonzi told ESPN: "The appointment of Mark Hughes as manager does not change anything and Steven wants to leave Stoke."

Two unnamed clubs, both believed to be Premier League sides, have already contacted Nzonzi's representatives offering the midfielder an escape route, but Stoke insist they have not received any formal offers and chairman Peter Coates wants the player to remain with the club.

Nzonzi's determination to leave is understood to be over what he believes are broken promises concerning a new contract. He maintains he was given a verbal promise of a wage increase, scheduled for January, but it failed to materialise.

His initial salary at Stoke was way down the club's wage structure and he was asked to prove himself over the first half of the season with the plan to increase his wages should he perform well.

Nzonzi made an impressive start to his career at Stoke, but fell away dramatically in the new year when the pay rise he believed he had earned was not awarded to him.

It is understood he held meetings with former manager Tony Pulis during the club's battle against relegation towards the end of last season and privately informed him of his decision to hand in a written transfer request.

Nzonzi agreed to maintain his silence during the relegation battle, but handed in his request within days of Pulis leaving the club.

Stoke will now be forced to listen to offers with Hughes unwilling to keep an unhappy player as he looks to introduce his own style and stamp his authority on the squad.