Mark Hughes insists Stoke City remain keen on signing striker Ivica Olic in the summer, according to Sky Sports.

The 34-year-old is set to see his contract with Wolfsburg expire at the end of the season, although he recently said he expected to sign an extension.

However, Hughes said: “Ivica Olic is a player that we like and one that we are pursuing.

“There have been one or two reports in the media saying this, that and the other but, for as long as we see the deal as one that we could complete, then we will remain in the hunt for his signature.

“He is a quality player and somebody I have met on a few occasions, and I really like him. He has played at the top level for the duration of his career, he possesses incredible pace, and he is technically very, very good.

“We have to give the guy time to make the decision that he feels is right.

“It isn’t dead in the water yet. He just needs time to make what will be a key decision for him.”

Hughes also revealed his delight at the fact Stephen Ireland has signed a long term contract at the Britannia, after making his loan move from Aston Villa permanent in January.

“I have always felt that Stephen needs stability in his life and he is going to get that here now,” said Hughes.

“He has a good structure around him and he has good people working with him on a daily basis.

“There is no doubt that he is a real outstanding talent, and there is no reason why he can’t enjoy the best years of his career here with us.

“I am delighted to have been able to tie him down to a long-term deal.”