DAVID WAGNER has cited his special relationship with Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle as being a key reason in his decision to pledge his future to the club and sign a new deal.
The Town head coach, who yesterday signed a new two-year contract, says that he is intent on writing the next chapter in Town’s compelling fairytale following their promotion to the Premier League – while revealing that he has rejected several rival offers from home and abroad in the past year to leave the club.
Wagner, whose assistant Christopher Buhler has also signed a new deal, is confident that Town can make their mark in the top-flight. The club have completed a club record deal to sign key midfielder Aaron Mooy and are close to landing several other targets, including Montpellier forward Steve Mounie and Derby County winger Tom Ince.
Wagner said: “I think about every offer if it is a serious and attractive offer. Of course, you think about the possibility of ‘what happens if I take it?’ This is always the case.
“But, at the end, it was always the wrong timing from my point of view even if the offer was very, very attractive. I also had the feeling that I was not ready yet to go after what we have started here.
“Again, after what we had done last season, I felt I was not ready yet. Now we have a new challenge, chapter and next step.
“I think we have one of the best owners in English football. He is a local man and fan who is really interested in this football club and supports you with everything he is able to. That is something that also make you feel you should not leave even if you have a better financial offer.
“This is the biggest reason, together with the fact that I like the people at this club and the team.
“These are the two reasons why financial offers from other domestic teams and abroad were not attractive for me.”
On the decision of Wagner to stay put, Hoyle said: “It all goes back to loyalty. David could have left on numerous occasions last season. People put temptation in his way with big salaries, but he stayed loyal and, with what happened at Wembley, it all came very well together.
“Now we can carry on and drive forward in the Premier League and it should be an exciting season. David trusts me, I trust David.
“I was realistic as a chairman. If that penalty had not gone in at Wembley, probably David would have gone on to bigger and better things in the Premier League.
“I could have lost David. That would have been a real shame from what we have created, but that is life. But we achieved the dream together.”
With Wagner’s future secured, Town are focusing on completing several other major pieces of transfer business, after the signing of Mooy.
The Australian has joined in a deal worth £8m plus add-ons, signing a three-year deal with an option of a fourth.
Town are working towards finalising an £11m deal to bring in Mounie, possibly over the weekend, which would see the club break their transfer record for the third time this summer – striker Laurent Delpoitre having signed for £3.5m from Porto. Personal terms have been agreed and Mounie will sign subject to the successful completion of a medical.
On Mooy, the coach added: “When we had the chance to get him on a permanent (transfer), we all agreed it would be the right signing. This was our key transfer and we said: ‘Come on, let’s do it as quick as we can’.
“Nobody knew what would happen in the Confederations Cup with him – there could have been more or bigger interest. On the other side, Aaron was desperate to continue with us, too.”
Town remain in talks with Derby regarding Ince, despite seeing a reported £7m offer rejected.
Wagner said: “He is a good player and we will see what the future will bring.”
Former Hull City loanee Andrea Ranocchia, who spent the second half of last season with them, is another target, confirmed Wagner, although the Inter Milan defender is interesting others.
Wagner also revealed that Town are working towards re-signing Chelsea duo Kasey Palmer and Izzy Brown, but feels that the club will, realistically, only be able to sign one of them.
Goalkeeper Danny Ward will not be returning after talks between Wagner and Liverpool chief Jurgen Klopp.
Huddersfield last night signed Danish-born goalkeeper Jonas Lossi. The 28-year-old, who has one Danish cap, is on a season-long loan from Mainz.
Town chairman Dean Hoyle interview: Page 4