Chris Wood left former club Leeds United for Premier League side Burnley in August for a reported fee of £15 million.
The move left a sour taste for the Leeds fans who worshipped the New Zealand striker but speculation over the goal-scorer’s apparent refusal to play for the club and force through a move to Sean Dyche’s side further impacted his sudden departure.
Leeds were due to play Sunderland the day after a bid was lodged and accepted by Leeds from Burnley. The acceptance of the bid meant wood could not line out for the Whites even though his move was not completed until two days after.
His no-show in the starting eleven at the Stadium of light saw rumours spread that the player had refused to line out for Thomas Christiansen’s side.
As reported in the Independent, Wood now wants to set the record straight about the events leading up to his August move.
“Nobody understands that the bid Burnley put in was subject to me not playing against Sunderland.
“And everybody thinks that I refused to play. But it was out of my hands. The bid went in at 3pm on the Friday and got accepted at 5pm on the Friday.
“It was completely out of my hands whether I played or not. Burnley took that out of the equation, because they didn’t want the worst to happen.”
Leeds told Wood’s agent that he would not be able to play against Sunderland. But Wood stayed at the team’s hotel so as not to distract from preparations.
“They said they’d like me to stay there so it doesn’t upset the team, they could focus on the Sunderland game, without people from the outside world thinking why they had got rid of a player the day before the game.
“They just wanted everybody to focus on the game. That is why they wouldn’t let me leave the hotel until the game kicked off, so there was no distraction.
“Only when the game did finish on the Saturday afternoon could Wood travel to Manchester, where he had his medical on the Sunday and formally completed his move on the Monday.”
Wood wants to clear up the speculation that he angled for a move away after the failed promotion bid under former manager Garry Monk.
The player states he at no time asked handed in a transfer request however he did state that if a Premier League club were to bid for him he would, of course, be interested.
“At the time I was still holding out hope for a Premier League club. A new deal could have been discussed when the transfer window closed.”
Wood has started extremely well at Turf Moor and netted a late equaliser at Wembley to gain a valuable point away to Tottenham.
Burnley currently lie fifth in the Premier League, level on points with Liverpool.
As for Leeds United defeats in their last two games has seen them drop from the top of the Championship table down to fifth.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena