Stoke City: Danny Higginbotham poised for long-term move to Ipswich Town
TONY Pulis is ready to reluctantly part company with Danny Higginbotham as a favour to one of his most trusted lieutenants.
The 33-year-old defender says he would consider staying on at Ipswich when his loan spell ends in a fortnight before sealing a long-term move to when the transfer window re-opens.
And Pulis has revealed he will not stand in the way of Higginbotham's desire to play regularly at this stage of his career.
"He's a great lad, a great ambassador for this club and one of the bedrocks it has been built on," said Pulis.
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"But I understand his wish to be playing, especially at this stage of his career, so if I can help him I certainly will."
Higginbotham is set to leave Stoke after making 128 appearances in two spells since first signing in 2006.
"We should never forget the contribution made by Danny, both on and off the field, and I certainly won't," Pulis added.
Stoke's other two senior pros excluded from their current 25-man Premier League squad – Mama Sidibe and Diego Arismendi – could also be lined up for moves.
Pulis explained: "Both have had little injury concerns lately, but hopefully they will be up and running soon, so there may be something there in the next week or two."
But Pulis is holding on to Ryan Shotton, at least for now, and will only consider loaning him out later in the autumn.
"I'm not really keen to let anyone go from the 25 at the moment," he stated.
"We've got a tough run of games coming up, so we will see what's what after that."
Pulis granted his players a rare two-day break this week ahead of Sunday's trip to Liverpool.
"We worked them really hard on Monday," he said, "and it would have been a long week leading up to the Liverpool game on Sunday if they hadn't had this bit of a break."