Diao returns to Stoke

Midfielder Salif Diao has returned to Stoke after signing a new two-year contract, the club have confirmed.

Midfielder Salif Diao has returned to Stoke after signing a new two-year contract.

The 33-year-old Senegal international’s previous deal expired at the end of last season, but his new agreement will also see him take on ambassadorial roles in Africa and other parts of the world.

“It is fantastic to see Salif back because he is not only an experienced head, he is a good person to have around the place,” said manager Tony Pulis.

Pulis added: ``We made it perfectly clear that there would always be a welcome for him back here and we are delighted he has signed now.

“He has an important role to play in the future of the club, both as player and in an ambassadorial role, but we appreciate that he wants to make the most of trying to enjoy more success on the pitch first and foremost.”

Diao, who joined Stoke in a permanent deal from Liverpool in 2007 after initially moving on loan, said he felt he owed a debt of gratitude to the Potters boss.

“It’s great to be back home. I love the club and I love the supporters, so I always hoped something could be sorted out,” he said.

“I feel there is still unfinished business and I want to help Stoke City continue the excellent progress made in my time here.

“Tony Pulis is more than a manager to me and I want to repay the faith that he has shown in my ability at this stage in my career.

“I believe I can still make a big contribution as a player but it is also very exciting that I have another important role to play which could help bring new talent to the club in the future.”

Republic of Ireland Under-21 defender Marc Wilson has also arrived at the Britannia Stadium today for talks over a move from npower Championship side Portsmouth.

Any deal for the 23-year-old would involve a player-plus-cash deal, seeing midfielder Liam Lawrence and striker Dave Kitson moving in the opposite direction.

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