Mark Hughes, the Stoke City manager, hopes Bojan Krkic committing his future to the club will help them in their ongoing contract negotiations with Marko Arnautovic.
Stoke have announced that Bojan, previously on a deal ending in 2018, has signed a new contract that will take the playmaker through to the summer of 2020.
There appears to have been difficulties in the club’s discussions with another of their key men Arnautovic, however, with the forward last month reportedly rejecting an offer from them while holding out for one that would make him their highest-paid player.
Arnautovic’s current contract runs out in 2017 and is understood to contain a £12.5m buy-out clause which will become active when the final year of the agreement begins this summer. Last week, Hughes stressed his belief the Austria international is best off staying with Stoke.
When asked whether the news about Bojan boded well for Arnautovic following suit, Hughes said: “I think it is a message to everybody that we have a lot to offer here. We are a side trying to progress, bring good players in and improve what we are capable of.
“When guys who have done well for me re-contract and commit once again, that is a message for everyone.”
While Arnautovic was linked with Paris Saint-Germain last month, there was also talk of clubs being interested in Bojan. But Hughes confirmed no bids had come in for the latter.
He said of the Spaniard’s new deal: “I’m delighted we got it over the line. We all feel that, with him at 25, now he is going to be moving into the best years of his career and we are going to benefit by him being here and being a big player. He likes being here and what we are doing. We never felt at any point really there was any danger of him leaving.”
Bojan himself told Stoke’s website: “I am very happy and motivated. Stoke gave me the opportunity to play in the most competitive league in the world and I have only words of gratitude for their trust and for the way they have treated me since the first day I arrived in England.”
After he joined from Barcelona in July 2014, Bojan’s encouraging start to life with Stoke was halted the following January when he suffered a serious knee injury in an FA Cup tie at Rochdale.
He returned to action in August and has shone again in patches this term, scoring five times to take his tally for the club to 10 goals in 41 appearances.
Stoke travel to Bournemouth tomorrow having lost their previous three Premier League matches, all by a 3-0 scoreline.