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Stoke complete permanent deal for Derby goalkeeper

Lee Grant has impressed during his spell with Stoke City. Credit: PA

Stoke have completed the permanent signing of Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant for £1.3million following his impressive loan spell at the Premier League club.

Grant has put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year contract and moves to the bet365 Stadium for a fee of £1.3million.

The 33-year-old joined Stoke on a half-season loan in August as cover for Shay Given after an injury to first-choice keeper Jack Butland, but he has gone on to make 16 appearances for Mark Hughes' side, keeping the jersey after getting his chance in September.

Grant has kept six clean sheets along the way and earned plaudits for his performances, most notably during the 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford in October when he made a string of fine saves.

With Butland likely to miss the remainder of the season with the ankle injury he sustained on England duty last March, Stoke were keen to keep Grant and, although it looked like the two clubs might struggle to reach an agreement, a deal has now been struck.

Stoke v Watford starting line-ups


Starting line-ups: Chelsea vs Stoke City

Hughes promises Bojan 'good game time' at Stoke

Bojan wants more opportunities to impress at Stoke. Credit: PA

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has assured Bojan Krkic he wants to give him "good game time" between now and the end of the season.

So far this term in the Premier League the Spanish playmaker has only started five matches and come off the bench three times, and his representatives have held talks with Hughes over the matter.

Asked about that at a press conference on Thursday, Hughes stressed Stoke want Bojan to stay and insists he remains a "big part" of their plans, while also emphasising the importance of making "correct" decisions about when he is utilised.

Hughes said:

Bojan's people came in and we had a discussion. It [the amount Bojan has played] has been more to do with a slight change in formation and the way we have gone in certain games which I felt probably wouldn't allow his talents to come to the fore as much.

Then sometimes when we have been protecting leads, he hasn't been the right option off the bench. Other times you look to bring him on, which we did to good effect at West Ham [a 1-1 draw in November in which he scored].

I made my feelings known. Clearly he wants to play more, and I want to give him more opportunity from now until the end of the season. It's just making sure we get those decisions correct in terms of when he plays and when he has an impact.

He is very well thought of, an outstanding player and is going to get good game time from now until the end of the year - it is just up to us to make sure he is happy enough with the game time we give him. My position on it is clear - we want him to stay. He is a big part of what we are doing.

– Stoke City manager Mark Hughes
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