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 rumoured to be among those 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.
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 Bruce in training during the first few weeks of the then new boss' time on Wearside.
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.
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 on Monday night, Quinn said: "We have opened negotiations over a new contract with Steed. He is a great asset to the club.''