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Whitehead talked out of Ipswich move

PUBLISHED: 10:10 18 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:56 06 July 2010

STOKE City midfielder Liam Lawrence has admitted that he talked Sunderland's Dean Whitehead out of a move to Portman Road.

Lawrence, fresh from penning his own new four-contract at the Britannia Stadium, is now hoping his friend Whitehead - who he spent three years playing alongside at Sunderland - will soon be doing likewise.

STOKE City midfielder Liam Lawrence has admitted that he talked Sunderland's Dean Whitehead out of a move to Portman Road.

Lawrence, fresh from penning his own new four-contract at the Britannia Stadium, is now hoping his friend Whitehead - who he spent three years playing alongside at Sunderland - will soon be doing likewise.

Lawrence, described by the Stoke Sentinel as being 'a lapsed member of the Roy Keane fan club', admitted: “I said a few things (to Whitehead) which I had better not go into. I just said you want to be in the best league and this is a club going forward here at Stoke.”

Ipswich agreed a fee - believed to be £5m - for Whitehead and his Sunderland team mate Daryl Murphy last week, but talks broke down after Premier League clubs Stoke and Hull made their respective interest in the pair known.

Talking of Whitehead, Lawrence said: “I spoke to him the other day and I speak to him quite regularly. Obviously the gaffer (Tony Pulis) fancies him and he asked me about him. I gave it my full backing.

“Maybe it's time he moved on from Sunderland for a new challenge. It would be great if they thrash things out and he comes here.”

Whitehead has spent the last five years at Sunderland, three of them alongside Lawrence, and his ex-midfield cohort claims the time is right for him to try his luck somewhere else.

“He was one of the best midfielders I'd played with when he first went to Sunderland and now, with years of experience in the Premier League behind him, he will be ready for the challenge of Stoke.

“The players that have come here from Sunderland (Thomas Sorensen, Danny Higginbotham, Rory Delap and Lawrence ) needed to move on and, to be fair, the manager gets the best out of us.”

Meanwhile, Hull have announced that they have ended their interest in striker Murphy after failing to agree terms.

A club statement said: “The Tigers have withdrawn their interest in Sunderland's Daryl Murphy after negotiations over personal terms broke down.”

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