Stoke - Stoke City manager Mark Hughes will be given the required funds if he wants to sign a replacement for injured defender and captain Ryan Shawcross, the club's chairman has said.
The 27-year-old central defender, who was signed from Manchester United in 2008, has suffered a recurrence of a back problem that troubled him last season and Stoke said surgery was the only solution.
"If that was something he (Hughes) wanted to do then of course we would support him," Stokes chairperson Peter Coates was quoted as saying by the Stoke Sentinel.
"I will have a chat to get his feelings, but we have discussed it before this news and he's been here before, of course, last season when Ryan was missing and we did okay."
Shawcross will be out of action for at least two months following the back operation, which is scheduled for next week.
"Of course it's a big disappointment, I'm not going to say we won't miss him, but this is a chance for someone else to shine," Coates said.
With the injury to Shawcross and the loss of defender Robert Huth to Leicester City, Stoke have come under criticism for a lack of physical presence in central defence.
"We were delighted with what Robert achieved at Stoke, but the change suited everybody, I think, and so we haven't any regrets on that," Coates added.
Stoke beat Liverpool 6-1 on the final day of last season and a more immediate cause of concern for them will be handling the physical presence of the Merseyside club's new forward Christian Benteke when they host them in Sunday's Premier League opener.