Newly appointed Stoke City manager Paul Lambert has addressed the shocking claims that Chelsea want to make a move for striker Peter Crouch, making it clear that he has 'no intention' of selling the 36-year-old in January.
Chelsea have been attempting to buy a target man to provide competition for Alvaro Morata this month, with their efforts to sign West Ham's Andy Carroll failing after the forward picked up an injury.
The reigning champions have also shown an interest in Burnley forward Ashley Barnes and former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, with the latter looking likely to complete a deal to the London club.
Chelsea then showed an interest in Crouch - the former Liverpool, Tottenham and England forward - but boss Lambert was quick to shut down the rumours.
“I’ve no intention of letting him go,” Lambert said, via the Independent. “He’s got a great work ethic, knows the game really well and an absolutely fantastic professional the way he conducts himself. That alone to a club is huge."
Lambert then suggested that Crouch may not be suited to Chelsea's style of football, adding: “His game hasn’t changed since he was a young guy. He’s never going to run in behind - that’s not his game."
The 6ft 7in forward has scored goals in 22 appearances for the Potters, however, has only made eight starts in the Premier League and has mainly featured as a substitute. Whilst their brilliant 2-0 victory over Huddersfield took them out of the relegation zone, the new manager believes his team will climb the table with the help of all the players - on and off the pitch.
He said: "What he [Crouch] has got is an incredible presence. Lovely touch for a big guy. If there’s a nicer person in football I’ve yet to meet him.”
Crouch came on as a substitute for goalscorer Mame Biram Diouf at 77 minutes in the morale-boosting victory on Saturday. Lambert, on the day, earned his first win as a Premier League manager in 11 games - since his Aston Villa side beat Leicester 2-1 in back in December 2014.