JAAP Stam admitted leaving Reading FC this summer would have been a huge mistake.

Stam had been attracting interest from his former club Ajax, while Southampton and Championship rivals Leeds were also linked with the Dutchman.

But Royals’ sought-after boss ended speculation over his future by signing a new two-year deal at Madejski Stadium on Tuesday.

In a further boost for the club, Stam’s assistant Andries Ulderink and first-team coach Said Bakkati, both of whom worked with him at Ajax, have also agreed new deals.

And Stam spoke openly about his decision to continue the work he has started at Reading.

“I’m not going to lie, there was interest from other clubs,” he told the Reading Chronicle. “But I haven’t got the urge to leave and go somewhere else.

“We’ve started something here. We had a great season and I enjoyed my time working with the people here.

“I think it would be a shame to leave this behind and, of course, what would happen to the club?

“You try and build things in a couple of seasons and you always try and improve yourself and the team.

“The club is also making progress and getting bigger. The club is getting more attention because of what happened last season. Everybody knows Reading even more now and especially in Holland where everyone follows us.”

Reading Chronicle:

(L-R): Assistant manager Andries Ulderink, boss Jaap Stam, and first-team coach Said Bakkati signed new deals this week.

Many critics feared Reading would be involved in a relegation battle last season after ditching former manager Brian McDermott and replacing him with Stam.

The 44-year-old Dutchman was Ulderink’s assistant at Ajax Jong – the club’s development side – at the time, but took on the challenge of a first managerial job abroad.

And Stam proved his doubters wrong by leading Reading to third in the Championship and to Wembley where they lost on penalties to Huddersfield in the play-off final.

But ex-Manchester United and Netherlands defender Stam stressed: “You have to ask if it is wise to leave straight away after one, good season and go somewhere else, and it’s the same for the players.

“Is it wise to say I need to go somewhere else, because that can be a big disappointment as well.

“There is still a lot of room for progress with Reading and to get even better, and I want to keep working on that.

“I think most our players can still improve, the team can still improve and the club can keep growing and getting stronger.

“I think that’s nice and as long as we keep trying to get better then it is all good for me.”