Leeds United goalkeeper Andy Lonergan has revealed that he was not as close to joining Sunderland as was suggested despite manager Thomas Christiansen confirming the move to the press.
The veteran shot stopper, who arrived at Elland Road from Wolverhampton Wanderers last summer, has been battling it out with Felix Wiedwald for a place in the starting XI, but looked set to leave just six months after joining with a move to Championship strugglers Sunderland.
The move was expected to go through in the final days of the January window, but in a surprise turn of events the 34-year-old stayed with the Yorkshire club, and has continued to act as back up for his German counterpart.
Now the former Wolves man, who is in his second spell with Leeds, has shockingly revealed Christiansen’s confirmation of the deal was false, insisting it was never that close and that it was is decision not to seal a deal with the Black Cats.
He told BBC Radio Leeds’ West Yorkshire Sport Daily (16/02, 18:00): “I think it sort of got ahead of itself in the press. I remember Thomas Christiansen saying I was going. It wasn’t really like that at all.
“When someone wants to talk to you, they contact the club, and you’ve got to hear them out.
“But in the end, I am happy where I am. I love it at Leeds. That was the main thing.
“Do I want to move and maybe not be as happy as I am now, regardless of playing or not?
“I’m happy with the decision I made and I am delighted to still be here.”
Lonergan has made just nine appearances for the club this season, seven of those coming in the league, and has a total of 47 outings for the Whites.
Football Insider verdict
This revelation will come as a shock to many of the Elland Road faithful, after it appeared a near certainty he would be leaving over the winter. He has not exactly been a regular but his experience could be crucial if Wiedwald finds himself picking up an injury or even a suspension. Plus, with new boss Paul Heckingbottom at the helm, it is a chance to capitalise on a fresh start, especially if the German starts to show the same poor form which saw him axed from the starting XI by Christiansen. He is happy at the club but you can guarantee he would be happier playing first team football as he enters the final stages of his career, and a final move in the summer seems likely.
In other Leeds United news, the fans have blasted Heckingbottom for his five word statement on the Bristol City clash.

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