Crewe manager Dario Gradi remains confident that Steve Phillips will sign a permanent deal at the end of his loan spell.

The experienced goalkeeper has been on loan at Gresty Road since October and rejected Alex's offer of a two-and-a-half year contract at the end of 2009 after failing to agree a severance package from Bristol Rovers.

His deal at Rovers expires at the end of the season and he is then expected to accept a more long-term arrangement with Crewe.

Gradi said: "The plan is to try and sign Steve on a permanent deal as soon as we can. He seems happy with that and we are happy with that, so I don't envisage too much of a problem. I've spoken to him about staying and he says he is happy so I don't expect Steve not to be with us next season."

The 31-year-old is currently waiting to see a specialist regarding a shoulder injury and Gradi is aiming to wrap up a permanent deal for Phillips as soon as possible.

Gradi added: "It is up in the air a little with Steve's shoulders because his specialist is currently stuck abroad, but that will be sorted as quickly as possible to suit what he needs."

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#Crewe Alexandra
#Steve Phillips
#Football
#League Two