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Paul Lambert was in a light-hearted mood when asked about whether relegation-threatened Stoke would let go of goalkeeper Jack Butland for £35million in the summer. 

Butland has apparently attracted the attention of Wolves, who will be in the Premier League next season, but boss Lambert joked that a rumoured £35million bid wuld only be enough to buy one of the keeper’s hands.

Asked about that on Thursday, former Wolves manager Lambert said with a smile: “Is that for one glove? With the way the modern market is, I think you might get one glove for that!

“When it becomes a little bit probably more realistic with the modern-day transfer fees then wait and see.

“I obviously know people at Wolves and get on well with those guys. But I think that would probably get you Jack’s right hand.”

Lambert was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Crystal Palace, which he has no doubt is a “must-win” fixture for the Staffordshire club.

Second-bottom Stoke are three points adrift of safety with a goal difference significantly inferior to that of 17th-placed Swansea, and have only two games left to play while their rivals above them in the table have three.

They will be relegated if they lose the lunchtime kick-off against Palace, and if they draw, could be confirmed as down later on Saturday following other results.

They have drawn their last three matches, including 0-0 at Liverpool last time out, to make it 12 games without a win – a sequence in which they have scored only seven goals.

Lambert said: “I think it’s clear for everybody – we have to win. It is a must-win game.

“We’ve been playing well. We haven’t taken care of the last pass in the last third, or there’s been a bit of luck against us. A lot of things have gone against us. But we’ve been playing well. The fight is there.

“We know we are playing well. I have got no doubt we can win them (the last two games), we just need to be clinical at the top end when we do have a chance.

“That’s the thing that has probably hurt us the most – not being clinical enough to put games to bed.”

Stoke will be without defender Bruno Martins Indi (groin) after he was forced off in the second half of the Liverpool match.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (groin) and Kostas Stafylidis (rib) both remain unavailable, but Glen Johnson could be back involved after he was sidelined at Anfield by a groin issue.


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