Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Thursday January 10 2008
Andy Griffin has finally agreed to rejoin the Potters in a £300,000 deal from Premier League stragglers, Derby County - subject to a medical tomorrow.
Griff kicked off his playing career with Stoke in 1996, before joining Newcastle United in 1997 in a £1.5m deal. After playing for the Magpies for seven years he then travelled to the south coast and played for Portsmouth until his successful loan period back at the Brit last season. With his family still based in North Staffordshire, he was keen to move nearer home again and a permanent move seemed to beckon last summer, but after gaining promotion, the Rams came calling and Andy moved up the A50 with a three year contract.
It was generally felt that the Wigan born defender would end his playing days at Pride Park, but fate plays odd tricks and Paul Jewell's arrival as manager earlier this season has signalled a premature end to his Rams' career as it was made clear that he had no future in the first team. Tony Pulis then moved swiftly to snap up the 28 year old who will be remembered for last season's 'goal of the season' for Stoke against Coventry at the Brit.
Whilst some fans will argue about the merits of bringing back Griff, there's no doubt that his experience does count and with a very thin squad, he will bring some vital cover to the defence. The question this weekend for the trip to Ipswich is, if he plays, who gets the chop - Wilko or Dicko?
Already in the can:
Salif Diao (free agent)
Danny Pugh - Preston North End (£500k)
Andy Griffin - Derby (£300k)
Leon Cort - Crystal Palace (£1m+?)
Ryan Shawcross - Manchester United (£1m+?)
Just the rumour mill for now:
Glenn Whelan - Sheffield Wed. He has been talked about since the summer and the Owls have just turned down a 'derisory' offer of £250k from Plymouth
Stelios Giannakopoulos - Bolton (£750k?) Megson is a big mate of TP, so who knows..
and already gone
Peter Sweeney - Leeds United ('nominal fee')
Those possibly on their way out of the Brit:
Clint Hill - Crystal Palace. Hill has had a good loan spell at Palace
I'll keep this updated as the month progresses. If you've got any other rumours why not add them below.
Date:Thursday January 10 2008
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