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Newcastle 19:45 Norwich

Potters deny Ameobi deal

Stoke dismiss striker rumours

By Chris Burton.   Last Updated: 08/05/08 12:43pm

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Ameobi: Unsure future

Ameobi: Unsure future

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Peter Coates has dismissed reports suggesting that the club are committed to buying Shola Ameobi.

The Stoke chairman was responding to claims that the Potters are tied down a £4million move after securing promotion to the Premier League.

Coates has refused to rule out the possibility of making the striker's loan move from Newcastle permanent, but has made it clear that the club are under no obligation to complete such a transfer.

"It is my understanding that the deal was never binding in the first place," Coates told the Sentinel.

"I am not aware of this development being reported, but from our point of view, whether we still want him or not is clearly a footballing decision for the manager (Tony Pulis) to make."

Money

Coates refused to speculate on how much Pulis will be given to spend over the summer, but accepts that strengthening will be required if the club are to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

"There is a lot of money coming into the club and it's up to us to manage it well," he said.

"We haven't even begun to get our plan together yet because we were never going to get ahead of ourselves and none of us felt comfortable making any plans for the Premier League until we crossed that bridge.

"Now we are going to be working very hard in the next few weeks to put a proper business plan together to make it work for the club.

"There's no doubt we have to strengthen with some quality players. We are determined to put out a team to compete at the higher level."

Explanation

Meanwhile, the Football Association have asked Stoke to explain the pitch-invasion which delayed the end of their 0-0 draw with Leicester on Sunday.

Hundreds of over-exuberant supporters clambered onto the playing surface before referee Mike Dean had called time on the contest, but the club look unlikely to receive any punishment.

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