Sam Byram 'refused' new deal, says 'hurt' Cellino
Last Updated: 22/09/15 7:20pm
Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino says he he has been left 'deeply offended' after revealing that promising youngster Sam Byram has refused a new contract offer at Elland Road.
The versatile 22-year-old has been a star performer for the Championship side and sees his current deal expire in 2016, but he has turned down several offers of an extension, according to Cellino.
Cellino says he is "deeply offended" and "hurt" by the player's decision and that, even if Byram changed his mind, he would prefer to sign someone "better than him".
"Sam Byram is the only one that maybe thinks Leeds is too small for him," Cellino told Sky Sports News HQ.
"He maybe thinks he deserves to be in a bigger team and a bigger club, and maybe he's right. But when I hear that a player from Leeds, with his agent, that he thinks that Leeds is not big enough for him, that he wants something bigger, I felt really embarrassed.
"He didn't sign the new contract and he won't sign it anymore. He's been offered a contract a few times, he didn't want to sign and I am deeply offended.
"I can't believe that we've fallen out with it. I am so hurt inside that if he comes asking for a contract I would prefer to sign someone else.
"There is already a list and there is already maybe something better than him.
"I need to fall in love with my players. They are like my kids and I don't want to let them go. Byram is one of those, but we don't get on with the agent."
I need to fall in love with my players. They are like my kids and I don't want to let them go.
Premier League clubs such as Everton have reportedly shown interest in Byram, who has been playing on the right wing under current boss Uwe Rosler despite breaking through from the academy as a full-back.
But Cellino said: "I don't think anybody has been asking for him and I'm not selling anyone.
"I didn't sell anyone in the summer and I'm not selling anyone in January. We are not the richest club in England but we do not need anything from anyone."