Ashley Williams has revealed in an exclusive interview with GiveMeSport that he never wanted to leave Swansea City after recently committing his future to the club by signing a new four-year deal.
The club captain said: "I always wanted to stay at Swansea, I told them that from the last game of the season.”
"You can never say never because this is football and something might happen,” he continued. “Maybe the club wouldn't have wanted to keep me but I knew I wanted to stay and that was my main target.”
One of the reasons for his desire to stay at Swansea City was his former teammate turned boss Garry Monk, with whom he shares a strong relationship. Having captained the side on numerous occasions before July 2013, Williams was handed the armband on a permanent basis by Monk, who took over from former boss Michael Laudrup on a permanent basis in May.
The duo lifted the League Cup together in 2013 at Wembley after their 5-0 demolition job of Bradford City in the final after Laudrup allowed Monk to come on as a late substitute purely to lift the trophy alongside his successor.
"I like the way we are going under the manager and the players we've bought in so I was more than happy to sign," he said of his teammate-turned boss.
Other factors that have encouraged him to stay include the deep affinity he feels towards the club. Swansea City were a League One team when the Wales international signed for £400,000 from Stockport County in 2008.
Since then a promotion under Roberto Martinez to the Championship in 2008 was followed by an advancement to the top flight in 2011, highlighting the success Williams has had at the club. Swansea were famously the first Welsh club ever to participate in the Premier League that year.
He said: "I have been part of Swansea for six years now and it's something I have helped build, and I'd like to see it out, see where we can go and try and kick on even more.
“For me there's no better place to play football. I know the city and I know the club inside out; the fans know me very well."
Arsenal, Sunderland and QPR have all been linked with a move for Williams over the past year, however the defender is happy to help put the rumours to bed by signing a contract extension at the Liberty Stadium.
"There's always some speculation about me so I'm happy to have signed a new contract,” he said of rumours linking him with Arsenal and Sunderland. “I’m glad to have sorted it out with the club so I can settle down and really give it a go over the next few years and try to help Swansea be an established Premier League team for a few more years at least.”
The central defender has made 276 appearances for the club scoring 12 goals, his first coming against Derby County in a 1-1 draw in September 2008 during a Championship match. That season Swansea were playing in the second tier of English football for the first time in 24 years.
The 2010-11 campaign was a record breaker for Williams and his club; not only was this Swansea’s first ever season in the Premier League, the central defender eclipsed the record number of consecutive matches played (106), previously joint held by Andy Legg and Gilbert Beech.
The Swans start their new season next Saturday against Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Ashley Williams is managed by New Era Global Sports Management - http://www.neweraglobalsports.com