Stoke City: Potters look to secure Ryan Shawcross' future
STOKE City chairman Peter Coates has vowed to pull out all the stops to ensure skipper Ryan Shawcross remains at the club for at least a decade.
He declined to comment on reports that a new six-year contract was on the table for the 25-year-old defender.
But he acknowledged that signing up Shawcross to a long-term deal was a top priority because his current contract ends in the summer of 2014.
"Ryan is an important player for us," said Coates, "and we want to keep him and make him secure. You try to look after your assets.
"He has developed his career at this football club and we want him to stay, so it's up to us to find a way of keeping him."
Liverpool and Tottenham are among those clubs continually linked with a possible move for Shawcross after seeing him become arguably Stoke's most consistent player since promotion in 2008.
Manchester United, who have to be informed of any offer for Shawcross as part of the agreement when they sold him to Stoke, are also in the mix after Sir Alex Ferguson recently admitted it might have been a mistake to release him.
Shawcross's value could also increase if, as many expect, he is named in the next England squad and finally makes his debut in next week's friendly against Sweden in Stockholm.
Shawcross has played more games for Tony Pulis than anyone else after passing the 200 mark, and his manager remains committed to retaining his partnership alongside Robert Huth in central defence.
But failure to reach agreement over a new deal could force the club to listen to any realistic offers as early as the January transfer window.
Meanwhile, Coates says they won't be pressing the panic button after seeing Stoke fall to 15th in the Premier League table following last week's defeat at Norwich.
"I don't think we have played badly this season," he said.
"Neutrals watching the game at Norwich would have thought we deserved something."
Coates looks to future: Page 40