Andy Wilkinson is close to signing a new deal with Stoke City.

Potters boss Mark Hughes has clearly come to value Wilkinson as much as his predecessor always did because of his local connections and evident love for his hometown club.

"We will do something with Andy," declared Hughes yesterday. "There's a willingness on both sides to get something done.

"This is his club. There's nobody prouder at wearing the shirt than Andy.

"He hasn't played as much as he would have liked this season (three starts and three sub appearances in all competitions), but his value to the squad is huge."

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