Chris Wilder has refuted suggestions that Sheffield United awarded David Brooks a new contract simply to drive-up his value ahead of the January transfer window.
Brooks signed the agreement, which could tie him to the club for the next five seasons, in front of the media earlier this week amid mounting speculation about his long-term future at Bramall Lane.
But Wilder insisted the development is not linked to reports that a host of top-flight sides, including Liverpool and Newcastle, are preparing multi-million pound bids following his impressive start to the new campaign.
“I don’t give a monkeys about what’s going on outside this football club,” the United manager said. “We have rewarded the player because it’s right to reward him. But he won’t get carried away, he’s got a grounded set of professionals around him.”
Brooks has made rapid progress since cementing a place in United’s squad during the close season. A proposed loan move to Chesterfield was shelved after he helped England under-20’s retain the Toulon Tournament title before, having been named in their squad for recent World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland, he switched his international allegiance to Wales.
Although United’s decision to revise the terms of Brooks’ employment is undoubtedly a response to that call-up, Wilder said: “Why shouldn’t he be rewarded? It’s not the top wage at the football club, and a sensible wage for a lad who done outstandingly well and broke into the national squad. What should we do, keep him on £500 a week?”
Brooks insisted he is “fully focused” on helping United consolidate their place in the Championship’s play-off positions after being presented to journalists on Tuesday evening.
“If Real Madrid and Barcelona fancy him, then that’s great because he is doing something right,” Wilder said. “He’s a good young player. Speculation only comes through really good performances, and he’s produced some really good performances this year. People don’t talk about players who aren’t doing it do they?
“We have a really good group of players, and he is part of that group.”