Skipper new deal talk

Stoke are considering offering skipper Ryan Shawcross a contract extension despite a season of struggle on the injury front.

The 28-year-old suffered two separate back injuries, forcing him to miss almost half of the season, but when he was fit his influence was there for all to see.

Despite concerns over the defender’s fitness, Stoke are keen to secure his future and reports are rife that talks are underway regarding an improved deal.

For now, the Potters medical team are just working to ensure he returns for pre-season in top shape with his injury problems behind him.

“Ryan’s had a difficult season,” chief executive Tony Scholes acknowledged. “But it was fantastic to see in the second half of the game against West Ham, Ryan starting to show he’s getting back to where he was at.

“He was incredibly unlucky with injuries last year and that affected the team as well.

“We are not the same team without Ryan in there, so we all hope Ryan has a good pre-season for his sake as well as the club’s, and manages to avoid injury going forward.”

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