Stoke chairman Peter Coates has warned wantaway striker James Beattie will not be allowed to leave on the cheap.
The 32-year-old had a much publicised dressing room bust-up with manager Tony Pulis in December and was reduced to a bit-part role in the second half of the season because of a lack of fitness and form.
Beattie, signed from Sheffield United for an initial £2million in January 2009, still has a year to run on his contract but Coates dismissed speculation the player could leave for free. "There is absolutely no chance of that happening," said Coates.
"We value him as a player and, if he were to leave, we would expect a sizeable fee.
"Clubs are bound to be interested because he is a goalscorer and they are hard to find.
"Everyone is looking for them. It is the most difficult job in any football club to fill."
Coates said the club were willing to listen to offers for the striker, having failed to offload him in January, but only if they came at the right price.
"The fact he is a year older (Beattie was 32 in February) makes no difference," Coates told The Sentinel.
"He has never relied on his pace, but he has always had the ability to score. He has lots of football ahead of him.
"We will get approaches for James Beattie so we will see how things develop between now and the start of the season."
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