Stoke asked for Crewe ace

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Crewe Alexandra fielded a January enquiry for Billy Jones from Stoke City, although the Championship club now appear to have shifted to other targets.

Jones is out of contract at the end of the season and the youngster has confirmed he has no plans to sign an extension.

Premiership duo Everton and Manchester City have been linked with the defender, while Stoke registered an interest in the transfer window.

Dario Gradi confirmed the approach, but the Crewe boss revealed the two clubs had differing valuations of the 20-year-old.

"Stoke wanted to buy Billy before the transfer deadline, but I didn't want to sell him because of the threat of relegation," Gradi told The Sentinel.

"They mentioned what sort of figure they would be looking at and we talked about the amount of money they would offer.

"While it wasn't enough to warrant selling him, it was half decent.

"I think Billy's dad would like him to stay at home, so a move to Stoke might suit him in the summer."

However, Stoke boss Tony Pulis appears to have cooled his interest in Jones, but acknowledged he had discussed the potential for a bid.

Pulis said: "Yes, we were interested in the lad and we did make an enquiry, but there was no offer.

"The money Dario wanted was far in excess of what we think he is worth. Since then we have been looking elsewhere.

"The one thing I don't want to do at Stoke City is get involved in any kind of auction for players."