Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has issued potential suitors a hands-off warning for star goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, stating that he hopes to work with the player for "many, many seasons."
The Bosnian shot-stopper has only conceded seven goals in the Premier League for the Potters this season and has posted three clean sheets, most recently doing so against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
But Hughes wants the former Portsmouth goalkeeper 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.
"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," Hughes told reporters. "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 is not inclined 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," Coates said. "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."