CHRIS Gunter revealed he turned down a pay rise to remain at Reading FC after signing a new three-year deal this week.

Royals offered the Welshman a contract in panic after Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough activated a £1m release clause.

But the 27-year-old said there was never any doubt about where his future would be next season, especially after Reading boss Jaap Stam also signed a fresh deal.

The right-back is now tied down to Madejski Stadium until 2021 and insisted it was a simple decision “It’s never close until you have a pen in your hand,” asserted Gunter “There was interest and someone did activate the clause.

“Then Reading offered the contract which I was really pleased about. So it was a case of deciding.

“I have always said that as long as the club want me to stay – and I spoke to the manager and he said he wanted me to stay – then I will.”

Having missed just nine minutes of domestic football last season, Gunter established himself as one of the Championship’s top right-backs.

But his efforts sparked plenty of interest from other clubs with Boro, Swansea and several other clubs all mulling over a bid.

And Gunter revealed he could have earned himself a salary increase if he had decided to leave.

“I’m not one that’s motivated by money,” he stressed.

“Other things were a big factor in me staying here.

“I probably could have earned more money elsewhere, but the offer Reading gave me was a good one and one I wanted to take.

“I really appreciate the manager, Brian Tevreden (director of football) and the owners for giving me this chance.

"Once the offer had been made it was quite straightforward, I was always going to stay.”

Reading Chronicle:

Chris Gunter says Jaap Stam signing a new contract with Reading was a big factor in his decision to follow suit and pen a new deal.

Gunter was one of the most consistent performers in the Championship last season and made a staggering 58 appearances for club and country during the campaign.

He had only one year left to run on his existing contract, sparking strong interest from elsewhere.

But the Newport-born ace, who is only 13 appearances short of equalling Neville Southall's record 92 Wales caps, says he was never going to leave the Madejski Stadium once Stam had penned a new two-year deal earlier this week.

"Him staying was a big part of it," he declared.

“I think Jaap was always going to be here for the next season anyway, but for him to be rewarded for what he's done is great. It ties him down for even longer.

“Regardless of who signs for us now, the best bit of business this summer is the manager having a new contract.

“I think that news itself makes everyone feel more comfortable because we all know what a big part he played in last season.

“It's fantastic news and I think it was an important thing for the club to do.”