Port Vale: Pope not interested in transfer speculation
TOM Pope says he is ignoring transfer talk and wants to stay at Port Vale.
The striker has enjoyed the best season of his professional career, scoring 26 goals to help fire the Valiants to the top of League Two.
His goal-scoring exploits have seen him linked to other clubs, with Championship strugglers Peterborough rumoured to be courting the 27-year-old at the start of the January transfer window.
But Pope has dismissed the speculation and says his sole focus is to help Vale win promotion.
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"There have been rumours, but I don't pay any attention to gossip," he said. "I'm certainly not worried about speculation.
"I've had mates texting me, wondering if this is true or that is true. It seems there are a lot of gullible people in the world.
"People on websites start talking and before you know it, people start believing it.
"The truth is I've heard nothing – I haven't been listening hard enough to hear anything anyway.
"I'm enjoying my football, I'm playing for the club I love and that's all I want to do."
Lifelong Vale fan Pope, from Sneyd Green, says he would be happy to remain at the club in the long term.
But he accepts he may have a decision to make if a big-money offer is submitted for his services.
"I'm scoring goals for the team I support, there is a great dressing room here, the manager is brilliant and the supporters are right behind me," added Pope.
"There's more to life than money or the opportunity to play at a higher level.
"There are plenty of ifs and buts, and the only way I'd leave is if the chairman told me they had received an offer and wanted to accept it.
"I'd probably have to talk about it then, but if not, I'm more than happy to stay at the club and help us to promotion."
Pope, pictured, is keen to continue his scoring form at home to Bradford tomorrow (3pm) and is desperate for the game, in doubt because of the icy weather, to go ahead.
"With the form we are in, we want the games to come thick and fast," said Pope.
"The players certainly want the game on. If it's off, the gaffer will have us doing another mini pre-season.
"We're sitting at the top of the league and our tails are up, so we're desperate to crack on. If the game is off, Gillingham could play and go back above us and it might give other teams a chance to close the gap."
Bradford, who spent £30,000 to bring in defender Michael Nelson from Scottish Premier League outfit Kilmarnock this week, are still faced with a hectic schedule.
They have the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final at Aston Villa on Tuesday, where they will look to defend their 3-1 advantage.
But Pope believes the Bantams will only be focused on taking the points in Burslem.
"Every team starts the season with the ambition of promotion," he said.
"Cup runs are great, but with that comes games and they have played a lot recently.
"They have a good squad and if we don't turn up, then we'll get beaten. We just have to stay focused."