Stoke City: Tony Pulis ready to open contract talks with Dean Whitehead
STOKE City manager Tony Pulis is likely to discuss the possibility of a new contract with Dean Whitehead near the end of the season.
Whitehead, who is now 31, can leave as a free agent when his present agreement expires at the end of June.
The midfielder has said he is relaxed about the club's failure thus far to open negotiations on a new deal.
Pulis insists there was no hurry to address the possibility of extending Whitehead's four-year stay at the Britannia Stadium.
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"He is one of those that the closer we get to the end of the season we will hopefully discuss things," he said.
Whitehead recently clocked up his 150th league and cup appearance for the club, but this season he has found Premier League starts harder to come by after beginning just eight fixtures.
Pulis confirmed that Matthew Upson would definitely part company with Stoke when his contract expires in the summer.
The 33-year-old former England defender joined Brighton on loan until the end of the season last month after just 11 league starts in his 18 months in the Potteries.
"Matty is at Brighton to get himself a contract," said Pulis.
"He hasn't played as much for us as he would have wanted, but he has been brilliant for us."
Another player whose future could be reaching a crossroads is goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.
The 36-year-old former Denmark international has a year left on his contract, but said he would need to discuss the manager's future goalkeeping plans following the signing of Jack Butland.
STOKE'S home game against Manchester United is now a 1.30pm kick-off on Sunday, April 14 to accommodate live TV coverage.
However, the fixture will change if United are in the FA Cup semi-finals scheduled for that same weekend.