Matthew Bates reiterates loyalty to Middlesbrough

Matthew Bates
Bates was a target for Premier League newcomers Swansea City, who managed to prise striker Leroy Lita away from the Riverside during the transfer window

Middlesbrough defender Matthew Bates has reiterated his loyalty to the club, despite being linked with a move away during the transfer window.

Premier League side Swansea City expressed an interest in his signature last month but no deal was completed.

"I was never knocking on the gaffer's door saying I wanted to leave," the 24-year-old told BBC Tees.

"I knew the situation with the club, I am in the last year of my contract and whatever was to happened would happen."

Bates added: "I'm here now and I'm happy with that."

The Stockton-born centre-back has become a key member of Tony Mowbray's squad at the Riverside and was handed the captaincy while many senior professionals moved on from the club.

Bates added: "When the initial interest first came in, it was an eye-opener for me. It was the first time I've been playing for a club and there has been interest from elsewhere.

"The first week I was sick of it and wanted to know what was going on but, after that, you get used to it. You say, 'Whatever I need to know, let me know'.

"I just wanted to get on with football and playing and that is what I did."

Other than loan spells at Darlington, Norwich City and Ipswich Town, Bates has been a Middlesbrough player since progressing through the academy ranks to make his debut in December 2004.

He has made 90 appearances for the club, scoring four goals.

The full interview with Matthew Bates will run on BBC Tees Sport this Friday, 9 September from 1800 BST.