Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is facing the prospect of losing on-loan Wilfried Bony in January after it emerged the striker has a release clause in his Manchester City contract which allows him to be sold to clubs in China.
The 27-year-old Bony has struggled since joining Stoke from Manchester City in August, scoring just twice in 10 appearances.
“There is some truth to that (the clause), but I’m not too sure that will affect anything here in January,” Hughes told reporters on Friday.
“Wilf is more focused on focusing his career in the Premier League, and unless he comes in and says he has had an offer from China then we anticipate him being here.”
Right back Glen Johnson has recovered from thigh injury in time for Sunday’s Premier League clash against Watford but defender Phil Bardsley will join versatile centre back Geoff Cameron on the sidelines.
“Geoff Cameron is still unavailable. We are finding it difficult to progress the injury as quickly as we would like,” Hughes said.
“Phil Bardsley will be out for a number of weeks – he has a bit of ligament damage… his injury has coincided with the return of Glen Johnson, who is fit and well.”
Joe Allen, who will miss Sunday’s clash at Watford through suspension, has been in fine form, scoring four goals in 11 league starts this season.
“Joe has made a real impact for Wales and for ourselves… He understood he needed to leave Liverpool and has come here and prospered,” Hughes added.
Stoke are 13th in the table with 13 points, five behind eighth-placed Watford after 12 games.