Pennant could extend stay at Stoke City
Jermaine Pennant has been encouraged by the fact he may still have a future at Stoke City and plans to hold talks with Mark Hughes regarding the possibility of a new contract.
Pennant's deal at Stoke expires at the end of the month, but chairman Peter Coates has stated that the 30-year-old could still be part of the club's plans next season, saying new manager Mark Hughes would like to meet with the winger to discuss the prospect of a new short-term contract.
ESPN understands that Pennant has been given fresh hope of resurrecting his career by the comments made by Coates and his advisors have confirmed that Hughes has not completely closed the door on him extending his stay in the Potteries.
Pennant is now planning to set up a meeting with Hughes in the next ten days and would consider the prospect of signing a one-year contract – despite retaining options of a possible move to the MLS, with Toronto monitoring the situation.
The former Arsenal and Liverpool winger is a hugely popular member of the dressing room at Stoke and loves the club, despite falling out of favour under former manager Tony Pulis last season, which restricted him to just two appearances and resulted in him being sent on loan to Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He almost left the club earlier this year when the club proposed to pay up the remainder of his contract, but Pulis' exit last month could earn Pennant a reprieve when Hughes returns from a family holiday.
Coates confirmed to the Daily Telegraph that Pennant's career with the club is not necessarily over if Hughes decides the player still has the desire to impress, now that the slate has been wiped clean by Pulis' departure.
"Jermaine is now a free agent and his situation has been discussed, but the final decision on what happens will rest with the manager. If we can get the same Jermaine Pennant from two years ago, we'll have got ourselves a very good player for nothing. But it will all depend on what Mark wants," Coates said.
Dean Whitehead, Carlo Nash, Matthew Upson, Rory Delap, Matthew Lund and Mamady Sidibe are the other players Stoke have confirmed are being let go with their contracts at an end. The club have also announced that Dave Kemp, Mark O'Connor, Adrian Pennock, Paul Maxwell, Dave Kevan and Gerry Francis have left their roles on the coaching staff.