Stoke City: Patience pays off in Pennant deal

Tony Pulis says it was important Stoke waited "until the last minute" before completing the signing of Jermaine Pennant so as to ensure that the price of the deal was right.

The Potters yesterday announced that Pennant had put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year contract, just as his loan from Spanish side Real Zaragoza, which had started in August, was coming to an end.

It is believed that Zaragoza had initially been asking for around 6million for the winger, but Pulis secured Pennant's services for a fee of 1.725million - which could eventually rise to 2.8million - and confirmed that timing was the key.

"The biggest thing with Jermaine's deal for me was always going to be how late we could leave it to do it," the manager said.

"I think if we had signed him straight away it would have cost us a lot

more money.

"It was just making sure the deal was what we thought was right for the football club, and to do that we had to wait until the last minute.

"As I have said, if we didn't get the deal we wanted, Jermaine would have had to go back and we would have moved on.

"I'm not sure it's brinkmanship, I just think it's understanding how the market works.

"We did our homework and we knew that Zaragoza were very keen to let Jermaine go.

"There was a club that was willing to sell, a club that was willing to buy and a player who wanted to come, so everything in the mix was right to get a deal done.

"It was just making sure that we got the deal the way we wanted it rather than the way they wanted it."

One player Pulis is not in the hunt for, though, is David Beckham.

Reports have linked the former England captain with a move back to the Premier League, something Pulis would love to see - although he is not interested in signing Beckham for Stoke.

"I think we'll give David a miss," Pulis said.

When asked if he thought Beckham would return to the English top flight, Pulis said: "I hope so, because I think he's been a fantastic footballer and has been great for this country."

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