Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Johnson - I want Leeds stay
The 23-year-old is entering into the final six months of his contract having rejected a three-year extension in November, prompting chairman Ken Bates to tell him he was free to leave the club in January.
It was a blow to Johnson who had always stated he was keen to stay with the Yorkshire club, but wanted a contract that reflected his growing importance within the first team.
Johnson, though, has not been short of suitors and has been linked with Premier League clubs such as Wigan, Bolton, Stoke and Scottish champions Rangers.
Nevertheless, Bates is refusing to let the midfielder go for less than £500,000 forcing his admirers to postpone their swoop until the summer when he will be available for free.
Yet, the former Northampton trainee wants to reward Grayson for not leaving him on the sidelines during his contract impasse when many other managers might have.
"I think that everyone knows my commitment to this team. Every time I play I give 100%," Johnson told skysports.com.
"The manager does not get involved in the contract side of things and he told me that if I was training well, then I would play, and I'm just repaying him really.
"He hasn't reacted to my situation and to be fair to him he has stuck to his word. I've always wanted to stay here - everyone knows that.
"I want to stay here, it's a good club and I love the club and the fans. It's a good city and I've settled down now.
"I don't want to leave and I hope something gets sorted."
Grayson has opted to deploy him in his preferred centre-midfield role of late alongside skipper Jonny Howson and he already has five goals to his credit this term.
He added: "Last season I had to play left-side of midfield but this season the manager has put me in centre-midfield with Jonny Howson, which is where I always wanted to play.
"I think it's benefited me and the team and I'm playing some of my best stuff for Leeds now."
LEEDS LOOK TO YOUTH
Posted by deano at 14:51