Nottingham Forest ace Matty Cash says he “didn’t want to go anywhere” in January, having been at the centre of plenty of transfer speculation.
The 22-year-old’s sterling form at right-back this season saw him catch the eye of a number of clubs, with several Premier League sides linked, as well as Italian giants AC Milan.
Although admitting such interest was flattering, Cash says there was no question he would remain at the City Ground.
“Obviously I saw everything being talked about everywhere,” he said.
“It’s nice to have clubs chasing you, but Forest is my main aim, I didn’t want to go anywhere at all.
“We’ve got a job to do here. We’re fourth in the league and have got a great chance to go up, so I want to do that here.
“It’s nice to have that bit of speculation and be linked with those clubs, but my aim was to stay here from day one.
“I’m enjoying my football and everything is going good.
“I didn’t let it all affect me. People talk, but that’s it.
“I had a few messages about it, which you’d expect!
“For me, it’s nice that people are watching, but my aim is Forest. I’m here, I’m a Forest player and I want to succeed here.
“I want my future to be here.
“I didn’t let it bother me - you know what football is like!
“I’m really happy here.”
With talk of eight-figure bids for the Nigel Doughty Academy product, Cash says it was important to keep his feet on the ground.
“It’s normal to think, ‘that’s a massive amount from where I’ve come from’,” he said.
“But I’ve just got to stay grounded and do my job here. That’s all I’m focused on and it’s all I have been focused on.
“I don’t let that get in my head.
“We want to get promoted to the Premier League and we all want to play at the highest level possible.
“I’ve signed a long-term contract here and I’m really happy here.”
Cash put pen to paper on a fresh three-and-a-half-year deal in November and says he sees his future at the club.
Having come up through the ranks, he is desperate to be part of a squad which takes the Reds back into the top-flight.
They sit fourth heading into Saturday’s showdown with Leeds United, who are just four points ahead of them, in second place.
“It means loads playing for the club - from coming up at 17, to making my debut at 18 and still being here now. For me, it’s a dream come true,” the defender said.
“At the age of 17 I was working in a toy shop, and now I’m playing for Nottingham Forest. It’s massive for me.
“I take each day as a blessing to be here. That’s how I’ve got to look at it.
“My dad still comes to every game - he’s over the moon, like the rest of my family.
“I’m playing for one of the best clubs in the country, I think - the biggest, for what we’ve done in the past.
“My mindset is on Forest and we’ve got a massive game at the weekend, which I’m looking forward to.
“I keep my feet on the ground and stay level headed.
“I think it helps coming from that background where I’ve had to appreciate earning money and doing it the hard way.
“That’s where I’ve come from and that’s the sort of person I am.
“Every day it’s a blessing to be here, to play in front of 30,000 and play for Forest. It’s brilliant.”
And with a promotion push on the cards, as well as the planned City Ground redevelopment, Cash says it is an exciting time to be on the banks of the Trent.
“Our squad is brilliant - everyone is level headed and focused on the job,” he said.
“The manager has said many times what we want to do. Everyone around the club wants to achieve those things. It’s where the club’s heading.
“You look at the stadium redevelopment - the club is on the up.
“That was one of the main things for me; I want to be here, I want to try to get promotion with this club and if we can do that, I think it could be even bigger.”