Sam Byram is set on winning promotion with Leeds United in preference to a Premier League move, according to his manager Brian McDermott.
Byram, 19, starred last season for Leeds, making 53 appearances in all competitions on either the right side of defence or midfield.
He scooped three awards at the season’s end, including the club’s Player of the Year gong, and as a result he has been the subject of reported interest from the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
McDermott, who took over at Leeds in April, believes that Byram would rather help the Elland Road club secure a top-flight return than earn himself of a big-money move.
“He’s got some real composure and he’s a great lad. He has the mentality to go as far as he wants to go,” McDermott told talkSPORT.
“He’s not just a talent, he works his socks off and wants to get better. He needs to be playing games for us and developing his career with us, in my opinion.
“It’s happened in the past when young lads, who are 18 and 19 and 20, and they have gone too early to so called big clubs and never get an opportunity.
“He played 44 games in the league for us last year, so I think the more games and experience he can get at our level and a big club like we are, then I think it the better it is for us.
“His ultimate ambition to be a Premier League player with Leeds United because Leeds United going back a long, long time, have been a successful Premier League side. That would be his ultimate ambition.”
McDermott also revealed that Leeds’ financial situation was still poor, with the club having to sell players to buy during the off-season.
Those comments came despite Leeds being linked with a move for Crewe midfielder Luke Murphy.
Leeds allowed striker Steve Morison to join Millwall on a season-long loan on Friday, wanting to use the player’s wages elsewhere.
“We’re in a situation at the moment where we have to wheel and deal a bit really. That’s where we’re at,” he added.
“We are wheeling and dealing and doing the best we possibly can to get in the players we need. One or two go out the door, that could happen as well.”