Bradley admits staying at Luton was his 'first and only option' despite reading 'funny' online rumours about leaving the Hatters
Skipper was always keen to agree a new deal at Kenilworth Road
Captain Sonny Bradley has confirmed that staying at Luton was his 'first and only option' this summer, despite rumours on social media that appeared to suggest he was on the verge of leaving the club.
The 29-year-old was one of a number out of contract at Kenilworth Road, with online speculation circulating that he was the subject of interest from Preston North End, Hull City and even League One Ipswich Town too.
However, Bradley admitted that was all news to him, as he regularly checked the internet himself to find out where he was supposed to be heading, all the time knowing that a new deal with the Hatters the only thing on his mind.
Speaking to the press this morning after his contract extension was made official on Wednesday morning, the club captain said: “When you’re an out of contract player, a free agent and you’ve performed well over the last three years, I think it’s quite natural for rumours to fly about.
“If I’m honest, I was logging into social media in the morning to find out information about myself.
“People seemed to know more about it than I knew, but I had a meeting with the manager, we agreed at the start of the month I would sign a new deal, we then just left it to the powers above to get sorted and that was always going to happen, so I’m happy now.
“It’s a little bit strange and at times I just wanted to go on there and write something and put people straight, but I just let it go, let it happen.
"It is a little bit disappointing to see some verified people putting up those rumours, but it is what it is, I understand it,
"I was logging in to find stuff about myself that I didn't know was happening which was quite funny, but I had an agreement with the manager that I’d sign a new deal.
"It was then out of my hands, and we’re in a place now where my deal’s done and everyone’s happy.
"There was absolutely no doubt, as from my point of view there was only ever one choice and one decision to make.
“I sat down with the manager at the start of this month and he told me that he wanted me to stay, I told him that I wanted to stay, and staying at Luton was my first and only option.
“So once that conversation happened then we left it with the powers above, it was with my agent and the football club.
"These things sometimes take a little bit of time, it’s taken a few weeks to get everything in place, but we were finally in a place where the club was happy and I was happy and it was always going to happen.
"It just took a little bit of time and right now, I’ve got my contract signed, I think everyone’s happy, it’s just a case of resting up now for the next couple of weeks and getting ready to go into next season.
“I think the club would have liked to have done it sooner, the manager, Gary (Sweet, chief executive), everyone, they made me aware of that, but it’s been tricky with the pandemic.
"I think clubs are waiting to see what sort of position they’re in and you’ve got to respect that, I certainly respect that.
"It would have been nice to have been sorted in January and February, so I could get straight into the summer and not have to think about it, but it can’t be helped.
"There are a lot of football clubs in the same situation as well, so what matters now is that I’ve got my new contract and I’m ready to progress."
On just why he was so determined to continue his time with the Hatters and not even consider seeking out any new employers, Bradley continued: "It's pretty simple, pretty easy for me.
"If you look at the last three years I’ve been at this football club, the football club's progressed each year.
"The first year I was here, we got promotion from League One and then we stayed up in the Champ, then last season we had a top half finish, so it’s progression upon progression each season and I think we can do that again.
"The main reason why I wanted to stay was the ambition of the football club, it matches my ambition.
"I don’t want to stand still, I don’t want to just be a mid-table Championship team, I want to push on and see how high we can finish next season.
"So the ambition of the manager and everyone at the football club is the main reason I want to stay.
After starting his career with Hull City and then featuring for Aldershot, Portsmouth, Crawley and Plymouth, having spent the largest chunk of his career with Luton, playing 131 times and scoring three goals, it's clear that Bradley has a real affinity with the Hatters.
The defender added: "I can definitely say that, that's the way I feel,
"Three years and we’ve had success, promotion from League One, two good campaigns in the Championship and for me, this is the best level I've played at, the best football team I’ve been a part of and on the pitch everything seems to be moving in the right direction.
"But it’s not just on the pitch, it’s off the pitch as well.
"I’ve built up some really good relationships off the pitch, I love the place that I live, and my family have always been made welcome at the football club.
"That’s a big thing for a player and I think it gets overlooked at times.
"If you feel comfortable, if your family feel welcome, it can have an impact on how you’re playing.
"Luton for me are first class when it comes to looking after the families, because I think they understand how important that is to a player.
"So I’ve certainly got that connection with Luton now and I want to make that even stronger moving forward.”