MATTHEW Lowton insisted he has no desire to leave Bramall Lane after hearing Sheffield United’s hierarchy reveal the young full-back attracted Premier League interest earlier this year.
Directors told Saturday’s AGM that Lowton’s team mates Harry Maguire, George Long and Elliott Whitehouse had also been the subject of bids following United’s relegation from the Championship last term but that the offer had been rejected out of hand.
United refused to name the club but Aston Villa have been impressed by the performances of Whitehouse and Long during their run to the 2011 FA Youth Cup final while Arsenal scouts are active in the region.
Despite admitting United’s finances must be re-structured to comply with forthcoming legislation, manager Danny Wilson confirmed he will fight tooth and nail to keep his squad intact after steering them to fifth in the League One table.
Lowton, whose performance during the 3-0 victory over Rochdale prompted Wilson to proclaim ‘When he drives a game he’s arguably the best in the division’, said: “My mind is on playing for United. If the club wanted to do anything that would be up to them and of course it’s flattering but I’m focused on what we’re doing here.
“We’re in with a shout of promotion and are on a good run of results.
“It would be great to get promotion after the disappointment of going down.”
Ipswich Town also expressed an interest in Lowton during the close season.
Wilson said: “I want more from Matt but that was a benchmark display (against Rochdale) from him. I don’t want him to go and I’d fight to keep all of them..”
Owner Kevin McCabe, speaking before goals from Ched Evans (2) and Richard Cresswell beat Rochdale, acknowledged he had been ‘embarrassed’ by United’s slide into the third tier.
Despite refusing to rule-out departures next month, McCabe vowed Wilson’s options would be ‘strengthened’ during the transfer window.
He confirmed the transfer of assets such as a nearby hotel to one of his personal companies had been undertaken to reduce United’s bank borrowings and could be reversed when the economic climate improves.
Those borrowings are underwritten by on-going compensation payments from West Ham following the Carlos Tevez Affair.
Lowton said: “I thought this was one of our best performances and we dominated from first until last.
“We’re encouraged as full-backs to get forward and I think me and Lee (Williamson) in midfield did well and caused them problems.”