Mark Hughes: 'Steven N'Zonzi key to Stoke City plans'

Steven N'Zonzi of Stoke City scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Sunderland on November 23, 2013
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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes insists that Steven N'Zonzi is a key part of the club's future plans.

Stoke City Mark Hughes has claimed that Steven N'Zonzi is a key member of the squad following suggestions that the midfielder could leave the club.

Despite impressing in recent weeks for the Potters, N'Zonzi has hinted that a move away from the Britannia Stadium in the summer could be a possibility.

"You never know in football, so I cannot answer that. Everybody is talking about what will happen next season, but as a player you do not know," the 25-year-old told The Sentinel.

However, Hughes is choosing not to read too much into the Frenchman's refusal to commit his future to the club.

"I have seen quotes in recent articles and I think all he is saying is that, like all the guys at the club, he is concentrating on getting to the end of the season, making sure we get as many points as we can and seeing where it takes us," Hughes insisted to reporters.

"We are trying to build the club and build the team, and he is very much integral to that process."

N'Zonzi signed a four-year deal with Stoke when he joined from Blackburn Rovers in 2012.

Peter Crouch (C) of Stoke celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match against Aston Villa on March 23, 2014
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