Stoke City can keep Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross, says CEO

Asmir Begovic (l) Ryan Shawcross (r)
Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross have a combined total of 425 appearances for Stoke City

Stoke City do not need to sell goalkeeper Asmir Begovic or defender Ryan Shawcross to fund new arrivals, insists chief executive Tony Scholes.

Begovic, 27, has most recently been linked to a move to Real Madridexternal-link while Manchester City external-linkare reportedly interested in 26-year-old Shawcross.

"We are not looking to sell star players, certainly not Asmir or Ryan," Scholes told BBC Radio Stoke.

"There are no requirements to sell those players to balance the books."

The Premier League club made former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic, 23, their fifth summer addition, joining on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee on Tuesday.

He will be hoping to link up with Shawcross, who earned his first and only England cap against Sweden in November 2012 and has made 153 appearances during his seven seasons at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke's summer arrivals
Mame Biram Diouf, striker from Hannover
Dionatan Teixeira, defender from Banska Bystrica
Phil Bardsley, defender from Sunderland
Steve Sidwell, midfielder from Fulham
Bojan Krkic, forward from Barcelona

Shawcross is just 18 months into a five-and-a-half year deal, having joined permanently for £1m in January 2008 after initially arriving on loan from Manchester United in August 2007.

Meanwhile Begovic, who has made 172 appearances for the Potters since moving from Portsmouth for £3.25m in 2010, still has two years remaining in his latest deal.

He started all three of Bosnia-Hercegovina's World Cup matches in Brazil.

Scholes confirmed that no offers have come in for either Begovic or Shawcross, but admitted it would be difficult to stand in their way if a bigger club made an approach for either player.

"We have not had a formal bid, nor would we welcome one," said Scholes of Begovic.

"In all honesty these things are sometimes out of our control, if one of the every top teams comes in for one of our players we recognise the difficulty of holding on to them.

"That is just us being realistic rather then us saying we will never want to sell players of Asmir's or Ryan's ability. We want them in the side, they have been bedrocks of the side for a number of years and everyone involved in the club hope that will remain the case going forward."

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