Jordan Henderson snubs Manchester United and Chelsea as midfielder rules out Sunderland exit

08 March 2011 12:38
Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson has no intention of leaving the club during the summer.

The 20-year-old's blossoming reputation, fuelled by a first senior England cap, has alerted potential suitors to his talent with Manchester United and Chelsea monitoring his situation.

However, amid speculation that a deal has already been done - something manager Steve Bruce has dismissed - Henderson has expressed his desire to remain with his home-town club.

Mixing it with the big boys: Henderson (left) tackles Arsenal's Aboue Diaby during Saturday's goalless draw

He told the Journal: 'I do feel I have improved this season. I'm a better player than I was 12 months ago.

'It has been another great season for me. I have had some ups and downs along the way, but it's all part of my development. I have coped okay with the second season thing.

'I'm improving every day, that is what I'm aiming to do. I'm enjoying myself at Sunderland, I'm not looking to leave.

'I'm playing every week in the Premier League and that's all I have ever dreamed of doing.

'I'm young and I'm playing for Sunderland. It's something I love doing. I just want to keep doing that, keep improving, keep getting better as a player.'

Henderson was catapulted into the first-team picture after impressing his boss in training during the first few weeks of Bruce's time on Wearside.

Cap call: Henderson made his England debut in the friendly against France at Wembley in November

He has been virtually ever-present since forcing his way into the starting line-up, and while his manager admits there have been times when he might have been rested for his own sake had injuries not taken their toll on the squad, he remains a key man.

Chief executive Steve Walton is adamant that the club will not have to offload players to fund a summer recruitment drive.

He told supporters at a talk-in in South Shields on Tuesday night: 'Players will absolutely not have to be sold to balance the books.

'Any sales will be dictated by what is right for the manager and balancing the dressing room.

'However, of course we can't legislate for transfers which come from left field, such as those involving Darren Bent and Lorik Cana.'

Big-money move: Bent (left) joined Aston Villa for ?24m during the January transfer window

Bent stunned Sunderland by handing an a transfer request in January, and subsequently left in a ?24million switch to Aston Villa.

Bruce has already drawn up plans to replace the England international during the close-season having decided not to spend in haste during the final days of the winter window.

Former skipper Cana left for Galatasaray last summer just a year after arriving on Wearside in a ?5million switch from Marseille.

Meanwhile, chairman Niall Quinn has confirmed that the Black Cats have opened talks with Frenchman Steed Malbranque over a new contract.

The popular 31-year-old's existing deal is due to expire at the end of next season.

Speaking at a talk-in with fans in South Shields last night, Quinn said: 'We have opened negotiations over a new contract with Steed. He is a great asset to the club.'

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Source: Daily_Mail