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Pulis warns Liverpool off Shawcross

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has told Liverpool to forget about signing Ryan Shawcross, insisting the club have "got no need to sell" their star defender.

Following the arrivals of England internationals Matthew Upson and Jonathan Woodgate, rumours of Shawcross potentially heading for the exit door have circulated. Liverpool are expected to launch a bid imminently for the 22-year-old, though should they come in for the central defender their advances are likely to be repelled by a determined Pulis.

"We have got no need to sell Ryan," he told the Daily Mail. "We want to spend money if we can. I think the chairman and the board have made it quite clear that their intentions are to try to improve the squad this year.

"We are very pleased with the defenders we've got, now we have to improve our midfield and forward line."

Shawcross's head may have been turned by Liverpool's reported interest - not that Pulis is at all worried by the Reds' expected big-money offer. He told the Daily Star: "I haven't had to tell him to keep a clear mind. I think the fact that we have brought Matty and Woody to the club would have cleared his mind in loads of respects. With regards to Liverpool, I am sure Kenny Dalglish would have rung me if there was anything on that front."

The Potters are preparing for Thursday's Europa League clash with Swiss outfit FC Thun and, with the game set to take place on a plastic pitch, Shawcross and Woodgate are unlikely to be risked - paving the way for Upson to step in and make his Stoke debut.

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