Why would I walk away and be left jobless? Sunderland's Jack Rodwell hits back over contract claims
Jack Rodwell has said that he is prepared to leave Sunderland but will not walk away from the last 18 months of his contract.
The Black Cats offered to tear up his deal over two weeks ago in order to free up room on the wage bill.
Rodwell has not featured under Chris Coleman having suffered from a hamstring injury.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Rodwell also said he would be available for selection if picked by Coleman. He insists, however, that is unfair to expect any player to walk away from a deal.
He said: “I think it’s unfair to ask that of a player.
“I haven’t put in a transfer request but I understand the club’s stance and their position and, because of that, I understand it’s beneficial for everyone if I move on.
“But it’s not the fault of any footballer if a club decides to pay you a certain amount.
“I have worked from seven years old to get here; to then ask someone to just throw it away, that’s difficult.
“I never wanted this. I joined Sunderland, a great club, to be successful, to feel at home again.
“It hasn’t worked out, but that’s not through lack of effort.
“Now, for me, it’s not about money, it’s about playing.
“If that means moving on to help the club in a situation that suited all parties, I would need no convincing.
“I’m a footballer, I want a football club.
“Why would I just walk away and be left jobless?
“The transfer window has two weeks to run and I’m prepared to do anything to play — any decision will be based on the chance to play football, not money.”
Former Everton and Manchester City midfielder Rodwell (pictured) is not thought to have been training with the first team since returning from his niggle, but he insists that criticism of his injury record is unfair and that he is fitter than he ‘has ever been’.
He said: “I’m training three times a day, I feel great.
“It’s the fittest I’ve ever been, in a weird way, and that’s without playing.
“It’s the best condition I’ve been in for a long time and hopefully someone will reap the benefits of that.
“I’ve not spat my dummy out, I’m getting on with it, trying to turn the situation into a positive.
“This is my hardest spell here, but there would be no use in me slacking off or huffing, I need to use this time to get ready for whatever is next.
“That excites me. I need a new challenge.
“I’m only 26. I feel like I’ve been in the game for a long time and people can’t believe I’m still so young.
“I’ve been at Man City and won the league, I’ve played for England, I’ve had success and good times, just not enough for someone of my ability.
“Luckily, I’m young enough to change that. It’s down to me now, no one else. My hunger is greater than ever, and that’s out of pure frustration.
“I want to write off this negative period and go again with some positive momentum.”