STOKE CITY have today boosted their attacking options by signing Jon Walters from Ipswich Town for an initial £2.75 million fee.

The 26-year-old Republic of Ireland B international has signed a four-year contract after agreeing personal terms with City to seal a transfer deal that could eventually rise to £3.25 million with appearances for the Club.

The signing of Walters, who can operate as a central striker or right winger, gives manager Tony Pulis more firepower in his squad following the club record £8 million arrival of Kenwyne Jones from Sunderland last week.

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Pulis welcomed news of the deal by saying: "I have been looking to bring more goals to the squad and Jon certainly fits that bill.

"He has been one of the outstanding performers in the Championship over the past three years and I am confident the lad can make the same sort of impact in the Premier League now that he has been given this opportunity.

"The fact that he is versatile will increase competition for places in the squad which is something we have been looking to achieve."

As with Jones, City's manager has been an admirer of Walters for some time and has been tracking his progress at Portman Road.

"It's always good to know that a manager has that faith in your ability and that was certainly an influence on my decision to come here," said the new signing after finalising his move to the Britannia Stadium.

Jonathan Walters. ACTION IMAGES

"I am excited about moving here and it is the fulfilment of a long term goal of mine to get back into the Premier League.

"I had a sniff of it in my time at Bolton, but I knew that in dropping down the leagues, it would take a lot of hard work to get back there one day. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ipswich, especially being the captain of the club, but this was the opportunity I had been working towards and I'm glad it's come at a club like Stoke."

Birkenhead-born Walters started out with Blackburn Rovers where he was a prolific goalscorer in the club's youth team before he had spells with Bolton Wanderers, Hull City, Wrexham and Chester City in the early stages of his career.

It was when he moved to Ipswich Town three years ago that his career really took off.He was rewarded with a first call-up into the Republic of Ireland's B squad and was then made the club captain at Portman Road.

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