Stoke City has rejected a $2.35 million bid from Norwich City for veteran striker Jonathan Walters, as the two sides prepare to meet on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).
The 31-year-old has made more than 200 appearances for Stoke over six seasons with the club, and has started both of the Potters’ matches this season.
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Walters is in the final year of his contract at the Britannia, and the club is reportedly not willing to offer him an extension of more than two years.
However, manager Mark Hughes isn’t ready to sell the Irish international, as Walters is the perfect mold of a “Mark Hughes-type” player. He is physical, hard-working and leads by example, with his effort on the pitch never coming into question.
Walters has recently played in more of an attacking midfielder role, with Mame Diouf starting up high as a lone striker. With the addition of Joselu over the summer and Bojan nearing a return from injury, Walters’ playing time has come under a bit of question.
For Norwich City, the club has been relatively quiet in the transfer window while heading back into the Premier League with a very similar side to that of two seasons ago, when the Canaries finished in 18th and were relegated.
Manager Alex Neil only took over at Carrow Road in January, and led the club to a third-place finish in the Championship and Premier League promotion. A player with Walters’ experience would surely help the Canaries, but now they will have to figure out how to stop him when they face Stoke City tomorrow morning.