Nzonzi hands in transfer request
Steven Nzonzi has handed in a transfer request at Stoke City in an attempt to enhance his chances of breaking into France's World Cup plans.
The former France Under-21 international is determined to leave the Britannia Stadium this summer to improve his chances of being part of Didier Deschamps squad in Brazil in 2014.
It is understood that Nzonzi's transfer request, which has been rejected, has nothing to do with the departure of Tony Pulis as Stoke manager.
Nzonzi's desire to find another club is also believed to be fuelled by issues regarding his contract and will almost certainly alert his former Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce.
Norwich City tried to take Nzonzi on loan last season and Chris Hughton retains an interest, but the player could be prepared to move overseas to find a higher profile club to attract the attention of Deschamps.
Peter Coates, the Stoke chairman, said: "I can confirm that we have received a written transfer request from Steven Nzonzi. We are not unduly worried about the situation as he is our player and has three years remaining on his contract."
Coates and his son John are expected to draw up a shortlist of candidates to replace Pulis over the weekend and hope to start interviews next week, with a view to making an appointment before the end of May.
With Coates determined to change the footballing philosophy he is hopeful the new manager will be able to persuade Nzonzi that he can fulfill his international ambitions at Stoke.
It is the second time in the last year that Nzonzi has handed in a transfer request, after asking to leave Blackburn last July, which eventually led to his £3 million move to Stoke on the final day of last summer's transfer window.