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Do Chelsea need more Costa cover?

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DPMM's Kean remains optimistic

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Pulis desperate to extend Huth contract

Stoke boss Tony Pulis is determined to tie down defender Robert Huth to a new deal and is keen for the club's hierarchy to press ahead with contract negotiations.

Huth, 27, has been a mainstay of the Pottters' back-line since arriving at the Britannia Stadium from Middlesbrough in 2009 and has emerged as one of the Premier League's most consistent defenders in recent seasons.

The German's uncomprimising style has helped Stoke develop a fine defensive reputation, with Pulis' side renowned for being one of the hardest to break down in the division.

Huth has just over 12 months remaining on his current contract and Pulis is "desperate" to keep hold of the former Chelsea centre-back, who could potentially leave on the cheap if new terms aren't thrashed out soon.

"We are desperate to keep Robert at the club and hopefully we can reach an agreement with him soon," Pulis said. "He's been an integral part of what we've done here and it's always important to look after the players."

Stoke are thought to be ready to re-open negotiations with Huth in the next fortnight, with initial talks having stalled earlier this season.

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