Stoke boss Mark Hughes has welcomed the prospect of the club handing another new contract to goalkeeper Jack Butland.
Butland, who joined the Potters in January 2013 on a four-and-a-half-year deal, only signed a fresh contract with them taking him through to 2019 around a year ago.
The 22-year-old has since succeeded the departed Asmir Begovic as first-choice stopper and has put in a series of impressive displays this season prompting speculation that Manchester United are monitoring his situation.
Reports have suggested he is set to be rewarded with a significant pay rise as part of another new deal, to 2021.
And when asked on Tuesday about the talk of Stoke looking to do that, Hughes said: “I wouldn’t be averse to it.
“Jack has only just signed a long-term deal, but that was just prior to the situation we had with Asmir in terms of what his future held (Begovic joined Chelsea over the summer).
“At that point Jack wasn’t the confirmed number one, which he is now, so circumstances have changed somewhat and I think that is the thinking behind looking and revisiting the contract situation again.”
Hughes – speaking at his press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Barclays Premier League home clash with Newcastle – stressed he was “not privy to the details” in terms of what Butland might be offered.
But when asked if he felt the England international was one of the best goalkeepers in the top flight, Hughes said: “Yes – and the chief executive (Tony Scholes) won’t thank me for saying that because it makes his negotiations more difficult!
“I think Jack has shown that over the games he has played this season. It is still early days – he hasn’t had a period where his form has hit a plateau, which can happen with younger goalkeepers, so he is very mindful of that.
“But I think his manner and personality is very calm and that those periods will be few and far between.”
Butland was targeted in an alleged coin-throwing incident during Stoke’s 2-1 home win against Aston Villa on Saturday, a matter which the Football Association has launched an investigation into.
There have been several similar alleged incidents at different stadiums of late, and Hughes said on Tuesday: “I’ve not had an update.
“Some idiots just get it in their mind that it has happened before, it is a big laugh, you can get a little bit of press and tell your mates at the pub what you’ve done.
“But it is ridiculous. Unfortunately, there are people out there who take pleasure and amusement from possibly harming individuals. It is a sad state of affairs.
“It happened in the past as well – I have been a victim of it myself when I was a player.”
Stoke go into the contest against struggling Newcastle looking to continue their return to form, which has seen them bounce back with two successive victories after a five-game sequence in which they lost 3-0 in the Premier League three times and exited two cup competitions.
Midfielder Glenn Whelan is expected to play despite breaking his nose in Saturday’s match, with Hughes saying on Tuesday: “I’m not sure if he’ll wear a protective mask – he started wearing one today and then threw it away!”
Marc Muniesa (hamstring) is likely to return to the Potters defence, while Geoff Cameron (ankle) and Phil Bardsley (calf) are being assessed.
Ryan Shawcross (back) is not yet ready for his comeback but Hughes says he is “very close”.