Stoke have ended speculation over Ryan Shawcross' future after striking a deal with Manchester United to keep him until the end of the season.
The 20 year old has privately insisted he wanted to remain at the Britannia Stadium and Sir Alex Ferguson has now agreed to grant his wish by extending his loan, which Stoke are hopeful will include any possible play-off games.
"Everyone has seen for themselves what a fantastic contribution big Ryan has made to our season so far.
"He has been one hell of a bonus because you never know for sure with a young and untried player what you are going to get, even though we were pretty sure about his potential.
"He has improved enormously since being here - and I'm certain he will carry on improving.
"Ryan has loved it here, not least because everyone has made him feel so welcome.
"Now we just hope he plays as well in the second half of the season as he has in the first."