Stoke City manager Tony Pulis is ‘hoping and praying’ that Ryan Shawcross stays at the Britannia Stadium for the rest of his career.
With Shawcross’s current contract set to expire in 2014, Stoke have offered the Englishman a new six-year deal in an effort to ward off any interest from the Premier League’s big guns.
Pulis believes that Shawcross owes the club some gratitude and is optimistic of securing him to a long-term contract.
“We’ll do our business within the four walls of the club and if we do it, and we get him signed up there’ll be none more pleased than myself,” Pulis told reporters.
“But it has to be right for the football club, it has to be right for Ryan. If both parties are happy then fingers crossed we can get it done and we push on from there because he’s been a fantastic player for us.
“We took Ryan as a young lad and I think he’s grown with the football club. I think he’s been fantastic for us, but I think the football club has been fantastic for Ryan as well.”
Although he would love Shawcross to see out his career at Stoke, Pulis conceded that it would be very tough to hang on to the former Manchester United man should one of the league’s elite clubs come in for him.
He added: “We’re hoping and praying Ryan will be a Stoke City player for the rest of his life and there’s no way in a million years we would stop (a) top three four club coming in and if they paid the money, stop Ryan from going there.
“I think that’s a natural progression for every top sportsman. To play at the top, top level, and if that came along – if the deal was right and everything was right – it’s very difficult to try and stop players going to the top clubs now.
“We know that, but we want to do (is) we want to try and ensure we have him for the rest of his career if that doesn’t happen, because we’re really happy with him.”