Shawcross agrees new Stoke deal
Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross has agreed terms on a new five-and-a-half-year deal.
- Related Content
17. Ryan Shawcross
Shawcross had been linked with a number of teams, including Premier League champions Manchester City, but he has instead committed his long-term future to the Britannia Stadium club.
The 25-year-old has been with Stoke since 2007, when he first joined on loan from Manchester United, eventually signing a permanent deal in the January 2008 transfer window.
He has since made more than 200 appearances for the Potters and is now in his third season as club captain, performing at a high enough level to earn a first England cap in the friendly defeat by Sweden in November.
The two parties have been in talks for a number of weeks, with Shawcross indicating he was ready to sign a long-term deal in November.
The 25-year-old joined Stoke from Manchester United, initially on loan, in 2007 and has gone from strength to strength, making his England debut against Sweden earlier this season.
Shawcross brought his family to the Potters' Clayton Wood training ground for the signing of the contract, and the defender's three-year-old son Freddie accompanied manager Tony Pulis to his press conference.
Pulis said: "It's fantastic for us as a football club. We're really, really pleased to have him. He's been the bedrock of what we've been trying to do over the past five or six years and we're really pleased that he's finally agreed.
"It's a long contract, Ryan has to get it right, the football club has to get it right and they've managed to come to an agreement, which is great news for everybody.
"I think the world of Ryan. I think he's a great lad. We've just seen little Freddie in here. They're a great family and they're part of this football club.
"We've signed Asmir (Begovic), we've signed Marc Wilson and now Ryan, Steven Nzonzi's on a long-term contract, so that's four top young players.
"And that's what we want to do - keep improving it, keep getting younger players and players who will grow together at the football club.
"We're not going to do what Manchester City have done, we're not going to do a Chelsea, we have to build gradually and steadily, and that's what we've done over the last five years.
"We'll do it our way, in our fashion. A lot of people don't like it but who cares."
Shawcross was happy to finally put pen to paper, telling the club's official website: "Obviously I'm delighted to sign the new contract. It took a long while to complete but I'm very pleased to commit my future to the club."
The news is the perfect start to the January transfer window for Stoke, who were unbeaten in 10 Premier League games prior to Tuesday's 3-0 defeat by Manchester City.
On Saturday they travel to south London to face Championship high fliers Crystal Palace in the third round of the FA Cup.
Pulis will make at least one or two changes and that could mean a first start in Stoke colours for Michael Owen, who has been waiting in the wings over Christmas after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Pulis said: "He's trained all over the Christmas period so he's a lot fitter now than he has been. Fingers crossed he might get a part of the game on Saturday. He needs to play and to score a few goals but I think Michael's very keen to do that."
Midfielder Nzonzi will also be available after the red card he received in the 3-3 draw against Southampton last weekend was rescinded, meaning he will not have to serve a three-match ban.
The former Blackburn player was shown a straight red by referee Mark Clattenburg for a challenge on Jack Cork, but replays showed the midfielder avoided contact with his opponent.
Pulis said: "I think Mark has seen it from a bad angle, and it's not his fault. From his angle it most probably looks as though he'd tried to stamp on the player.
"But if you turn it round and have a look from the camera's angle and from where we were standing, you can see he's actually done his best to avoid Cork's legs.
"The disappointing thing for me was that Cork rolled around, and that most probably influenced the referee as well. That's what players do, and I think it's wrong, but it happens and you get on with it.
"We're very pleased Mark's looked at it and rescinded it for us, it shows a bit of courage."