19 Jan 2012
- Written by The Sentinel
- Hits: 723
STOKE chairman Peter Coates says the club is not looking to sell Kenwyne Jones, and has denied reports of a £5m offer for the striker from Saudi Arabia.
Former Asian club champions Al Hilal were reported to have made an official approach for 27-year-old Jones.
Stoke signed Jones, main picture, from Sunderland for £8m 17 months ago, but he has failed to command a regular starting place this season.
The Trinidad and Tobago international has only started two Premier League games since the arrival of £10m club-record signing Peter Crouch on August 31.
However, he remains a regular in other competitions having started 10 games in the Europa League and FA and Carling cups.
Staffordshire rivals Wolves are also being linked with the striker, but Tony Pulis would be reluctant to lose a player who has provided strength in depth for a squad trying to compete at home and abroad.
Coates says the club have not been approached about Jones.
He said: "You always get speculation at this time of year. Kenwyne Jones is a good player who hasn't been playing in every game, so I expect people are taking it from there.
"But he's a very good player and we want to keep our good players."
Jones, who has two-and-a-half years left on his contract, was City's joint-top scorer with Jon Walters on 12 goals last season, and has scored four this term.
Should Al Hilal press ahead with a formal bid, they could also offer Jones a tax-free salary.
The club is based in the capital of Riyadh and plays in the 67,000 capacity King Fahd International Stadium, which is also used by the Saudi Arabia national side.
Past players include former Manchester United winger Andrei Kanchelskis and legendary Brazilian 1970 World Cup-winner Rivelino.