SAM Baldock has hit back at claims that Darren Ferguson pulled out of the deal to sign him, saying he simply didn’t want to move to Peterborough.
In an exclusive interview with The Citizen, the 22-year-old explained how he went to London Road on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the possibility of a transfer to Posh, but withdrew from the deal later that evening.
MK Dons and Baldock himself have said that the player rejected a move to Posh, while the Cambridgeshire club claim to have withdrawn their bid following the meeting.
But the striker said he didn’t feel any desire to sign for the Championship outfit, turning down a four-year contract to remain at stadium:mk, choosing to concentrate on helping Dons get out of League 1 next season.
“As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t want to go there,” Baldock said. “We told them I didn’t want to go there, and they decided to withdraw their offer. So you can make up your own minds as to what happened next!
“We hadn’t even finalised terms. We could have got there on financial terms and in the contract situation. It was more of an issue that I couldn’t really get inspired by the place.
“There is no secret that I want to be playing in the Championship – which is one positive for that place – but it just wasn’t inspiring.”
The month-long transfer saga began on June 2 when Barry Fry, director of football at London Road, announced that a bid had been submitted for Dons’ top scorer, but that it had been rejected as it didn’t match chairman Pete Winkelman’s valuation.
Another bid was submitted two weeks later – topping £1 million – but was again turned down, as was an offer of £500,000 for Stephen Gleeson.
Wednesday’s bids were improved again, but while the money for Gleeson still didn’t match Dons’ valuation, Baldock was given the chance to speak with Peterborough about a potential move.
Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony has been vocal throughout the whole process, and had previously declared that Posh’s second rejected bid for Baldock was a ‘final offer’. And he still claims that it was Peterborough who pulled the plug on the transfer, not Baldock.
“Trust me, the lad did not reject any move,” said MacAnthony.
“Sometimes people don’t gel when they meet, it’s life and not the end of the world. Frustrating but life.
But Baldock is having none of it. He said: “I’ve known about these bids for a while, so I’ve had time to get my head around them and I went to see them yesterday.
“I think, looking back, it was more of a courtesy, because I had already made up my mind.
“The prospect of trying to win promotion here was more exciting for me.
“I had no involvement in the other bids. The chairman has stuck to his guns with the valuation and he has been true to his word that if they came back with that figure, he wouldn’t stand in my way.
“He said whatever decision I made, he would stand by me no matter what. And the manager said it too, and I have repaid them in a way by staying here.”
Now Baldock wants to put the whole thing behind him and concentrate on getting Dons into the Championship.
He said; “With the additions that we’ve made we have definitely improved the squad.
“We’re looking more attacking and I’m looking forward to playing with Dean Bowditch who is someone I’ve admired as a player for a while now.
“I think we can do well together and we need to kick on from here.”