Stoke set to offer Woodgate new deal despite not hitting appearances contract clause
17:25 GMT, 6 April 2012
Stoke boss Tony Pulis appears poised to offer Jonathan Woodgate a new deal at the end of the season even if the centre-back fails to trigger an appearances clause in his current contract.
Woodgate signed for the Potters last summer on a free transfer from Tottenham eager to again resurrect his injury-hit career.
City took no chances on the 32-year-old centre-back, handing him only a one-year deal, but with the guarantee of an extension should he play a certain number of times.
Deal: Stoke will offer Jonathan Woodgate a new contract
With 21 matches behind him for Stoke, Woodgate needs to play in just three more games to assure himself of a place in the squad for next season.
However, after only recently returning from a month out with a calf problem, the former England international has just seven matches to hit his magic tally.
Pulis, though, has indicated Woodgate, who has already made it clear he wants to stay, has seemingly done enough to earn himself the contract extension anyway.
'If he doesn't get the games in that doesn't mean we aren't going to offer him a new contract,' said Pulis.
'Woody has been brilliant, playing in a lot more games than people probably thought he could play, and he's good to have around.
'He's been very good for (Ryan) Shawcross and (Robert) Huth in lots of respects.
'So let's get the season out of the way and then we'll sit down and discuss everything with (chairman) Peter (Coates) and the family.'
One player definitely heading for the exit is veteran midfielder Salif Diao who has spurned the offer of a coaching role and working with the academy as from next season.
Pleased: Tony Pulis is satisfied with Woodgate's impact at the Britannia
The 35-year-old, who has made 89 appearances in more than five years after joining on a free from Liverpool in January 2007, is convinced he can earn another playing contract elsewhere.
'We'd love to keep Salif because he is a fantastic lad,' added Pulis.
'We'd love to have him involved in the academy. There's a lot of money being spent on that over the next couple of years.
'I want to get certain players involved, those who have been the bedrock of this club over the last six and a half years, and one of those is Sal.
'But he wants to continue playing. He feels as though he is fit enough to do that, which is his decision and I respect it.
'So I'll be very sad to see him go. He was one of the signings that set this club in place, and he's been a credit to himself, his family and the game ever since he has been here.'
Offer: Salif Diao could be a coach if he so desired
Pulis, meanwhile, has indicated he could again be in the market for another striker this summer given the lack of goals this year.
Ahead of Saturday's visit of relegation-haunted Wolves to the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke are seeking the three points they need to take them over the 40-point barrier, City currently boast the worst goalscoring record in the top flight.
Alongside Wigan, Stoke have managed to find the net just 29 times in their 31 games, despite spending 8million on Kenwyne Jones in August 2010 and 10million on Peter Crouch last summer.
'We've created good opportunities, but the final pass or delivery from crosses has not been as good as you would like it to be,' said Pulis.
'It's disappointing in some respects, but we need goals from all around the team rather than thinking of the two strikers, as well as Robert and Ryan. We need to get more goals from other areas.
'So I'm always looking to strengthen, to improve the team. As soon as I stop doing that then they should start looking for a new manager.'
Pulis has doubts over three players for tomorrow in defender Andy Wilkinson (groin) and wingers Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant (both ankle).