Jonathan Greening has moved to quash rumours that his relationship with West Bromwich Albion has soured and stated he will be fully committed to helping the club return to the Premier League this season if a deal cannot be done with a top flight club.
The Albion captain was keen to set the record straight following reports that he was furious with the club after a £2 million plus player offer from Fulham was rejected.
And he has refuted claims he has turned down the four-year contract the club has offered him.
The 30-year-old has confirmed that he did hand in a written transfer request over a week ago during an amicable meeting with Albion chairman Jeremy Peace, sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth and new head coach Roberto Di Matteo, but he promised Albion fans he would give 100 per cent every time he pulls on the shirt in future if a move doesn’t come about.
“I explained that, at my age, I want to be playing in the Premier League because I may not get too many more chances,” Greening said of the meeting.
“The club agreed that if an acceptable offer comes in for me, they will let me talk to the bidding club.
‘‘But I made it clear to the chairman that I in no way want to rock the boat and that if a suitable offer doesn’t come in for me, then I will be more than happy to knuckle down, fight for my place and try and get this club back in the top flight.
“I really want to clear this up because some of the things that were written in the media yesterday, about me being ‘furious’ with the club, and that the situation had gone ‘sour’, are just not true. It has also been wrongly reported that I have rejected the club’s contract offer.
“I’ve had five great years here and the club has been brilliant to me. If I do leave, I want it to be in the right way. If I don’t, I’ll keep giving my all every time I pull on an Albion shirt.
“I think it’s important the fans know this. I’ve always had a great relationship with them and I really appreciated the positive reception they gave me at last night’s game.”
Di Matteo said that despite Greening’s request to leave, he had nothing but good things to say about him.
“At the end of the day the club have to be happy with any offers that come in for him,” Di Matteo said.
“Otherwise he will stay. He is very valuable to us and our team. If that happens we will have to see, but unless that happens we will keep working and he has been fantastic.
“He is a great professional and a great lad and he is a fantastic player on top of that. He is the captain as well.
“On one hand we are sad and disappointed that he has handed in a transfer request but on the other hand he is the kind of player that is working hard in training. He is leading by example and he is a great professional. There is nothing negative that I can say about him, it’s all positive.
“Even though he has put in a transfer request, he is still a top man. His attitude is spot on and he is the first man in for training and the last man out. You couldn’t ask for any more. He is a great player and a great boy.
“If a big offer comes in we would have to consider it as a club,”