Mark Hughes accuses Norwich City of ‘mischief’ over Jon Walters transfer bid

Stoke manager Mark Hughes warned Norwich City transfer target Jon Walters is going nowhere in the tr

Stoke manager Mark Hughes warned Norwich City transfer target Jon Walters is going nowhere in the transfer window. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Mark Hughes accused Norwich City of 'mischief' in their move for Stoke City striker John Walters prior to the Canaries' 1-1 Premier League weekend tussle at Carrow Road.

Walters was not included in the visiting squad as he recovers from illness but Hughes was philosophical regarding the timing of Norwich's approach on the eve of the game. The Welshman confirmed he wants Walters to stay, despite a contract stand-off, following a reported £1.5m enquiry from the Canaries for the former Ipswich frontman.

'He knows my feelings – we want him to stay. Norwich did make a bid but it was nowhere near our valuation,' said Hughes. 'That was a bit of mischief, if I'm honest, that's probably what it was. It happens – I have probably been guilty of it myself in the past so I'm not going to be holier than thou and criticise Norwich for that. It was predictable really that it was going to come out so we haven't got a problem.

'We want him to stay but if we don't come to an agreement we will probably keep him and let his contract run down.'

Alex Neil refused to be drawn on City's move for the Irishman, after a week when the Canaries also made a bid for Wolves' striker Benik Afobe ahead of the transfer window deadline on September 1.

'Jon Walters or anybody else out there are not our players,' he said. 'The bottom line is now we won't be commenting on anyone. If we don't add anybody then we will go with this squad. If we do then it gives us another player or two to give me more options. I am not overly concerned.

'All we are looking to do is get a player or two who is better, or different, to the squad we have here. We are doing work in the market, we have been doing work since it opened and will continue to do it until it closes. Whether we get anyone across the line or not remains to be seen.

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'As a manager you get asked the same questions every time you do an interview. A lot of the time you don't have any news and generally when it comes to a done deal it is already out there. Until things are across the line you can't really comment.

'I think the public, in general, do not understand what goes on because every deal you try to complete can be so different. There are always issues to be fixed and it certainly opens your eyes.'