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Friday, August 24, 2012
Pulis suffers dual setback

David Instone

Tony Pulis has been dealt a double blow with a possible breakdown in Tom Huddlestone's loan move to Stoke and Ryan Shawcross' decision not to represent Wales.

• Huddlestone deal not dead

The Potters boss had been hoping to announce at lunchtime that Huddlestone was fit enough to resume his injury-interrupted career with a year's loan at the Britannia Stadium.

But there has been no further announcement from the club  just signals from sources close to the deal that it is off until at least after Sunday's Premier League clash with Arsenal.

One theory is that Stoke demanded assurances from Spurs over helping pay the player's wages if he were ruled out for a further lengthy spell.

Huddlestone had completed a medical examination to assess his recovery from the ankle problem that has kept him out since last August.

Now the manager will have to wait, having also missed out on his wish to see Shawcross pin his colours to the Welsh flag.

Chris Coleman was in the Potteries this week to talk to the Chester-born 24-year-old, who has been an unused member of a senior England squad since his various age-group honours.

Proud Welshman Pulis facilitated the meeting and hoped his player would agree to represent the principality, but those ambitions have been dashed.

"I had a good conversation with him and his dream is to play for England," said Coleman. "He was very honest and, sadly for us, he wants to pursue his England dream. I totally understand and respect that and we shook hands and I wished him all the best.

"I hope he fulfils that dream and gets his England cap. There is no further conversation there."

Shawcross's decision, which comes at the same time as a similar rejection by Cardiff defender Ben Turner, at least spares Coleman a delicate matter.

Some would have seen his inclusion in the same national squad as Aaron Ramsey as a contentious issue, the current Welsh skipper having broken his leg in a challenge with him in a Stoke v Arsenal game three seasons ago in 2010.

Ramsey was sidelined for ten months after the tackle, which brought Shawcross a red card.

The pair are due to come face to face again in the Sunday lunchtime clash at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke, having recently signed Geoff Cameron, are set to sign a second USA international in the form of 26-year-old midfielder Maurice Edu from Rangers.

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