Friday, 4 January 2013

Ryan Shawcross Was A Wanted Man, Says Tony Pulis

Tony Pulis admits he was forced to fend off a number of direct approaches for Ryan Shawcross before he signed a new five-and-a-half year Stoke deal. 

The Stoke boss' mobile phone was ringing off the hook in recent weeks as his top player considered letting his contract run down.

Manchester United and Spurs had long been in the mix for a deal as contract talks dragged on.

And there were plenty more top flight sides sniffing around before Shawcross finally put pen-to-paper yesterday (Thurs) alongside his family, including young son Freddie.

“The ones who were interested came straight to me,” he said. “One or two managers rang me up and inquired but they kept it nice and quiet.

“Certain managers speak to you and not other people. I respect them for doing that.

“One or two calls were OK but not very long in respect to Ryan!

“There’s always been bits and pieces about Ryan – and other players – but you try and keep them as quiet as you can.

“It was difficult because the club wanted him to sing such a long-term contract.

“When you’re asking someone to commit themselves to that sort of deal, it has to be right. That was the big stumbling block.

“Ryan wanted it right. Not for this year or next year but the year after that and the year after that but we’ve managed to come together and both parties have accepted and agreed.”

United had a clause in 25-year-old defender Shawcross’ previous deal saying they had to be notified of any offers after selling him to Stoke for £1million in 2008 following an initial loan spell.

That clause was scribbled out when the defedner agreed his new contract and now Pulis hopes he can now kick on and become an England regular as the club grows.

He added: “He’s been a fantastic signing for the club. He’s a great player and ambassador. We’re very pleased to get this done.

“It’s a credit to Ryan, his agent and the Coates family. They’ve invested in a player who hopefully will do what he’s done in the past five years for the next five years.

“It’s a great signing. It shows the club are pushing in the right direction and want to do things properly.

“I think the world of Ryan and he and his family are now part of the bedrock of the club.

“We got Ryan, Steven Nzonzi, Marc Wilson and Asmir Begovic tied down to us for at least four years. That’s what we want to do – keep getting younger players and players who will grow old with us.

“We’re not going to do what Manchester City and Chelsea have done, we have to build gradually and steadily.”

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