Talks 'Going Well' On New Deal - Jonny
By Kevin Markey
Updated Thursday, 10th November 2011
Skipper Jonny Howson insists he is getting closer to agreeing a new contract at Leeds United.
The midfielder's current deal is due to expire next summer and the club are keen to tie the 23-year-old to fresh terms.
But in an exclusive interview, Howson revealed talks are progressing nicely.
"They're going well. We've been in talks for the past month or so and although it's taking a bit of time, I'm not in a massive rush. That's always the way with negotiations but I'm sure they'll be finalised and I'll sign soon."
The Leeds skipper has been linked with a move away from Elland Road with Bolton amongst those reportedly keen on his services.
But Howson is looking to focus on the job in hand at Leeds - getting the club back in the Premier League.
"I don't read the papers or anything like that. No disrespect to the media but not everything you read or hear is true and I've not heard anything about that. I've certainly not spoken to Bolton or anyone connected to the club.
"I think for any professional player it's an ambition to play at the highest level and I'm no different. In an ideal situation I'd love to do that with Leeds and hopefully that's where we'll be next season."
Leeds currently sit just outside the play-off places but consistency has been hard to find this term. Howson struggles to put his finger on why that is.
"It has been very up and down, but we're still in a pretty good position. This is one of those leagues where anyone can beat anyone and I think there's a few teams who have had similar seasons to us. But what matters most is where we are at the end of the season."
There have been calls for Leeds owner Ken Bates to make greater investment in the playing staff but Howson believes the current squad has what it takes to go up.
"It's a united team and we've had different players come into the side and I think they've proved we have strength in depth.
"Fans always want something to happen, that big name signing or money to be spent, but I think at the minute the team is in good shape.
"I think we've got a very good chance of going up. It all stems back to that consistency. If we can get that right, we'll have a very good chance of going up.
"It's all about putting a run together and any team that does that, will be the one that goes up. So if we can just keep in and around the top of the table, who knows what can happen."