- Premier League
Shawcross commits to new Stoke deal
Ryan Shawcross has ended speculation surrounding his future at Stoke City by agreeing a new five-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League club.
The 25-year-old club captain has been in negotiations for the past two months concerning the biggest deal offered in the club's history and has finally agreed to commit his long-term future to the Britannia Stadium.
Shawcross, who recently won his first England cap, has been attracting interest from Tottenham and his former club Manchester United during the extended negotiations over his new deal, but his new contract ties him to the Britannia Stadium until 2018.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis had been frustrated with the delay in completing the deal and is understood to have recently approached chairman and owner Peter Coates to intervene and speed up the process.
Pulis is delighted that Shawcross sees his long-term future with the club he joined three years ago from Old Trafford in a £1.5m deal and believes it sends a clear message concerning the progress being made at the Britannia.
"It looks like Ryan Shawcross has agreed a new contract, so that is great news for this football club. I am delighted he sees his future with us and it is fantastic news," said Pulis.
"He is a fantastic lad and he has 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."
Pulis has also hinted Michael Owen may be given some FA Cup duty for the weekend third round tie with Crystal Palace after a frustrating period out of the side.
Owen has played less than a hour in all competitions since joining Stoke in the summer and has been an unused substitute during the Christmas and New Year programme, but Pulis is looking to make some changes to his side for the tie.
"Michael has played a couple of friendlies and he has trained all over the Christmas period. He might get a part of the game on Saturday," said Pulis.
"We have played four tough games in 12 days. It has been a hard Christmas for us. I will certainly change one or two players for the game, but it will be as strong a team as we can put out. We will show respect to Palace."