Premier League - Shawcross signs new Stoke deal

Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross has signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League club.

Shawcross, 25, is now committed to Stoke until the summer of 2018 after bringing prolonged speculation about his future to a close.

The defender had been linked with a possible return to Manchester United, where he began his career, but delighted manager Tony Pulis by agreeing to stay at the Britannia Stadium.

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."

Shawcross joined Stoke for a fee of just £1 million when leaving United in January 2008 and has made 164 league appearances for the Potters.

He brought his family to Clayton Wood training ground for the signing of the contract, and the defender's three-year-old son Freddie accompanied Pulis to Thursday afternoon's press conference.

The manager said: "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."