Hughes eyes Crouch stay

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Mark Hughes has underlined his desire to keep Peter Crouch at Stoke City with the striker in the last year of his deal.

Former England forward Couch has spoken of his own wish to stay at the Britannia Stadium and Stoke boss Hughes has made no secret of his admiration for the player.

And the Welshman feels the 33-year-old, who has scored three goals this season, still has plenty to offer.

"We're keen to sit down with Peter and discuss where he feels he needs to be," Hughes told the club's official website.

"I think it's fair to say he's looking for a little bit of security but it's also fair to say that he's very happy here and we're delighted with what he's producing at the moment. 

"I've said before the qualities that he offers are really important to us. His strengths aren't going to wane to any marked effect in the next year or so because his style of play isn't based on pace, which inevitably goes when you get older. 

"We would like it to be a positive conversation that we have with him but the fact that he's happy here is very much in our favour."

Stoke welcome Swansea City on Sunday when Hughes will pit his wits against former Southampton team-mate Garry Monk.

And he had some kind words for his opposite number.

"Of course, I remember Garry," he said. "He was a young player at Southampton when I was there and was still making his way in the game. 

"It's refreshing to see how well he has made the step from being a player to a manager – it looks like a good fit. Some players grow into the roll but it can take them a while but Garry seems to have the manner and presence to cope with the demands that come with being a Premier League manager."