Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross says he is flattered to be linked with a £14 million transfer to Liverpool.
The central defender is thought to be the subject of intense interest from Liverpool and Manchester United who could both make a bid for him in January. Shawcross has admitted that he expected to be linked with high profile moves as his contract is nearing its end.
However, Stoke City boss Tony Pulis has confirmed that the club expect Shawcross to sign a new six-year deal which could inflate the transfer fee if Liverpool want to come in and make a formal bid for him.
Pulis has stated that he doesn’t see Shawcross signing on as the main problem. He suggests that keeping the player grounded as the speculation goes around linking him with big money moves will be the main issue that Stoke have to deal with to keep him happy and contracted.
Liverpool have previously tried to sign Shawcross with former Anfield boss Kenny Dalglish engineering a £10 million bid which was around £8 million under the price Stoke were willing to accept at the time it was made.
Roy Hodgson even made an effort to try and make Shawcross a Liverpool player before he was relieved of his duties as the manager of the Merseyside giants.
Brendan Rodgers will have roughly £20 million to spend in January which suggests the club won’t be spending the majority of that budget on a central defender when there is a greater need for a striker and different attacking options.
Shawcross is one of the most highly respected defenders currently in the Premier League and national team. England coach Gary Neville even suggested that Shawcross would be the ideal replacement for Jamie Carragher when Liverpool originally tried to sign him.