After Stoke rejected two bids for him from Chelsea, Asmir Begovic found the thought of facing Shrewsbury a bit too much to take. The keeper was named in the starting line-up for last night’s Carling Cup clash but refused to play.
The Potters instead has to rely on Carlo Nash, the last refuge of someone desperate for a goalie, for their 2-1 victory.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis said: “Someone has been blowing in his ear. They say that doesn’t happen but it does. It is happening more and more often. There has been interest in him from one or two clubs, but it doesn’t come close to our valuation of him.
“Begovic was selected for the Shrewsbury game but said he didn’t want to play, and I find that very disappointing. We pay his wages, and what he has done is very, very disrespectful to the football club, and to our supporters.
“I’ll call him into the office in the morning but we won’t be giving him away because of what he’s done. Knowing my chairman, he will be less likely to do a deal after this. Peter Coates isn’t the sort of man who will be pushed around.”
Chelsea had upped their initial £3million bid to £4million, but that too has been rejected by Stoke.