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Stoke City: Stadium expansion; Shaqiri considering future; Grant seeks loan extension

Stoke City this week unveiled their plans to expand the capacity of the Bet365 Stadium over the next eighteen months.

The club’s official website detailed a proposal that will see the South-East corner of the stadium filled in, adding an extra 1,800 seats and increasing the overall capacity of the stadium to just over 30,000.

During the 2015/15 campaign The Potters’ average attendance was 27,534, their highest since promotion to the Premier League, and season ticket sales have increased on a year-by-year basis for the last five seasons.

It will be the first development of the ground since it was opened nineteen years ago and the club are hopeful of completing the project, without disruption to match day operations, before the stadiums 20th birthday next year.

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Swiss superstar Xherdan Shaqiri is reportedly considering his future in The Potteries after his agent refused to quash rumours linking the 25 year old with a move to Italian giants Roma in January.

Shaqiri has missed much of the current Premier League campaign due to injury but has been an integral part of Mark Hughes’ team since his arrival from Inter Milan just over twelve months ago. The midfielder is due to return from international duty later this week after staring in Switzerland’s back to back victories, and is in line to start for The Potters against Sunderland this weekend.

However his agent, and brother, Erdin told Corriere dello Sport:

“The only thing that’s certain is that Xherdan is focused on Stoke City. January is a long way off, there will be time to evaluate the various options. Roma? Never say never.”

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In contrast, the Staffordshire Sentinel report that one player who is looking to extend his stay at the club is goalkeeper Lee Grant.

The 33 year old has been hugely impressive for The Potters since breaking into the first team prior to the international break and produce a string of saves and a man of the match performance to earn Stoke a point at Old Trafford.

The well-travelled goalkeeper, who has never previously played in the Premier League, is currently on loan from Derby County until January but is keen to extend his stay in The Potteries. Speaking to the Sentinel Grant explained :

“My goals won’t change. My goals are to work hard and hopefully do enough so the club will extend the loan until the end of the season. I’m enjoying my time, but I have to take things day-by-day, week-by-week. So I have to look at Sunderland”.

Mark Hughes will be keen to keep hold of Grant whilst first choice goalkeeper Jack Butland continued his recovery from a broken ankle.

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