Stoke City Complete Permanent Signing Of Jermaine Pennant From Real Zaragoza

Pennant will sign two-and-a-half year deal with Potters...
Stoke City have made their first January transfer by making Jermaine Pennant’s loan deal permanent.

The former Liverpool and Arsenal player has been on loan since August from Real Zaragoza, and was due to return to the Spanish club at the end of this month. But after weeks of negotiating, Stoke have managed to work out a deal to keep him at the Britannia stadium.

Manager Tony Pulis told the Potters' official website: "This is fantastic news, just what we all wanted. Jermaine has made such a big impact since he has been with us and he has become a big favourite with the supporters, so I know that everyone will be delighted that we have completed this signing.

"The important thing has been getting him comfortable and settled, and now that we have done that I am sure he can go on to play an even bigger part in our plans. Natural wingers are hard to come by, but we have two of them with Jermaine on the right and Matty Etherington on the left, so that gives us a real threat down both flanks."

The winger has played thirteen times this season and has been influential for the Potters.  His permanent signing will be a boost for fans feeling down after Stoke's 2-0 home defeat by Fulham on Tuesday.

Despite Real Zaragoza originally placing a £6 million valuation on the player - a fee which Stoke said they had no intention of paying – a deal has been done which suits both parties.

It is understood that the 27-year-old has signed a two-and a-half year deal for an inital £1.7 million, which could rise to £2.8 million in the future.

Pennant himself was delighted with the deal.

"I think everyone knows how I feel about being at this football club,'' he said.

''The supporters, players and management have been absolutely fantastic to me over these past four months and I desperately wanted to stay here because I love it so much.

"I know I have only been here a few months, but it really does feel like I have been here for years. The atmosphere around the place is brilliant, so I am looking forward to the fact that I am here at Stoke now for the long term and back in the best league in the world."

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