Mark Hughes job not in jeopardy at Stoke; Whelan could leave

Stoke manager Mark Hughes' position is not under threat despite another disappointing end to the season, but veteran midfielder Glenn Whelan's nine-year stay may be coming to an end.

Hughes' side won just two of their last 11 matches -- mirroring an end-of-season slump in 2016 when they registered just one victory in their final 10 games -- against a backdrop of growing fans' frustration.

However, chairman Peter Coates insists the Welshman's job is not in jeopardy, despite the club finishing outside the top half for the first time in four seasons.

"We felt he has done well for us since he's been here and we don't expect that to change,'' Coates told Sky Sports.

"We'd have done something about it otherwise. What he has achieved so far has given us confidence he can continue to do well for us.''

Doubts remain over the future of Whelan, with Sky Bet Championship side Aston Villa interested in the 33-year-old.

The Republic of Ireland international has a year remaining on his contract, but with the arrival of West Brom midfielder Darren Fletcher, who will officially join on July 1, his chances next season could be limited.

"If someone comes in for Glenn and Glenn wants to go we wouldn't want to stand in his way,'' added Coates.

"I don't predict things like that in football but it's a possibility.''