Stoke have completed the permanent signing of Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant for a fee of £1.3million after he impressed during his loan spell with the Premier League club.
Grant has put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year contract and moves to the bet365 Stadium for a fee of £1.3million.
The 33-year-old joined Stoke on a half-season loan in August as cover for Shay Given after an injury to first-choice keeper Jack Butland, but he has gone on to make 16 appearances for Mark Hughes’ side, keeping the jersey after getting his chance in September.
Grant has kept six clean sheets along the way and earned plaudits for his performances, most notably during the 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford in October when he made a string of fine saves.
With Butland likely to miss the remainder of the season with the ankle injury he sustained on England duty last March, Stoke were keen to keep Grant and, although it looked like the two clubs might struggle to reach an agreement, a deal has now been struck.
“Lee found himself with an opportunity to make an impression in the Premier League and to suggest he has grabbed that chance with both hands would be an understatement,” Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes told his club’s official website.
“He has shown outstanding form on a consistent basis and we’re delighted to have reached an agreement with Derby to make his transfer permanent.”
Derby manager Steve McClaren was sorry to see Grant leave, with the goalkeeper a key figure for him during his first spell with the Rams, but he could not stand in his way with Premier League football on offer.
”We wish Lee all the very best at Stoke City; it is a good deal for both clubs,” said McClaren. ”He was a major part of the team which got to the play-off final in 2014 and we thank him for his contribution.”
Grant came through the academy system at Derby and made 186 appearances for the club over two spells.
He played 79 times between 2002 and 2007 before returning in the summer of 2013 after stints at Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley.
Grant made a further 107 appearances for Derby and was a mainstay in the team that reached the Championship play-off final in 2014, before Scott Carson became the club’s first-choice goalkeeper at the start of the 2015/16 campaign.