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Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 18:15 UK

Ashton link is nonsense - Stoke

Dean Ashton
Ashton has made just 43 starts for West Ham since January 2006

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has said that the Potters are "a million miles away" from signing West Ham United striker Dean Ashton.

Reports on Thursday had suggested that Stoke were in talks with the Hammers over the former Norwich frontman.

But Coates told BBC Radio Stoke: "It's absolute nonsense.

"I have not said we are in talks with West Ham. We are a million miles from doing anything with Dean Ashton and I think we probably won't."

A televised interview with Coates appeared to suggest that City were close to a deal for the 25-year-old, but the Potters chairman insisted that he has been "misunderstood".

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"I have not said that we are talking to him or that we are about to sign him, I just simply haven't said it," said Coates.

"I have not said it because it's simply not true. I have been misunderstood."

And Coates added that although Stoke manager Tony Pulis is an admirer of Ashton, the speculation surrounding a possible transfer is frustrating.

We have not talked one jot about him in terms of anything significant.

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates

"It's frustrating because it's inaccurate and it's not what I have said," added Coates.

"We have not talked one jot about him in terms of anything significant."

Ashton began his career at Stoke's academy before moving to near-neighbours Crewe Alexandra.

After scoring 73 goals for the Alex he joined Norwich for £3m in January 2005 before joining the Hammers for £7.25m a year later.

But he has only managed 33 Premier League starts in his time at Upton Park, scoring 15 goals.



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