Walters still in Hughes' Stoke plans

Mark Hughes has no plans to sideline Jonathan Walters after his attempt to leave Stoke City.

Jonathan Walters still has a future at Stoke City, despite the forward attempting to leave the club during the transfer window. 

The Republic of Ireland international is at loggerheads with Stoke over the length of an extension to his contract and is reported to have handed in a transfer request, while Norwich City had a bid rejected for the former Ipswich Town striker. 

Walters was absent for Stoke's last Premier League game against West Brom before the international break, but could be recalled for Saturday's trip to Arsenal as manager Mark Hughes has no hesitation about calling on the 31-year-old.

"His immediate future and his future at the weekend is that he will be involved with our game against Arsenal," Hughes said.

"Jon's not the only player that's gone through a similar situation during the transfer window. Once the window closes you have to refocus and get on with the job in hand.

"Jon's a very, very good professional. He'll get his head down. He's had a couple of weeks away with the international squad, did really well and scored a goal so it shows his focus was total for his international team.

"It will be similar for Stoke City. I'm absolutely certain of that. The transfer window is not easy for players, for managers, for football clubs. It is a distraction.

"Once the distraction is out of the way then you focus on what's important which is playing football."