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Stoke show Harper the door

Stoke show Harper the door

Stoke City have released their retained list and the only notable absentee is Kevin Harper.

Harper has spent this season on loan at Carlisle and latterly, Walsall where he scored 4 goals in 10 appearances during the Saddlers' successful promotion season which also saw them lift the League 2 Champions Cup.

Injuries have been a constant problem for Harper since he joined from Portsmouth in January 2005 and he never really had the chance to show his capabilities whilst at the Brit.

Keith Thomas and Rob Duggan have also been released, but neither had ever managed to break into the first team proper.

The club have confirmed that new contracts have been offered to John Eustace, Robbie Garrett, Matthew Hazley, Russell Hoult, Dominic Matteo, Martin Paterson, Salif Diao and Adam Vass.

Tony Pulis is keen to keep last season's first team intact as much as possible and the club have confirmed that they are in talks with Andy Griffin and Lee Hendrie to try and sign the former loan players up on permanent contracts. Hendrie becomes a free agent at the end of June after Villa confirmed that they will not renew his current contract, but other clubs, besides Stoke, are known to be circling around the influential midfielder who has made it known that he would like to stay in the Premiership if possible.

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Writer:Chris Baldwin
Date:Thursday May 17 2007
Time: 6:02PM

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