SOUGHT-after star Simon Francis has moved to quash any lingering speculation over his Cherries future by declaring his happiness with life at Dean Court.

The marauding full-back, 29, was the subject of two failed bids from play-off finalists Derby County having caught the eye with his all-action approach at both ends of the pitch last season.

Having announced the double swoop in June, chief executive Neill Blake was adamant that Cherries had no need to sell Francis or any other member of Eddie Howe’s burgeoning squad.

Speaking exclusively to the Daily Echo, Francis insisted he had no qualms with the club’s stance before vowing to his desire to achieve his Premier League ambitions with Cherries.

Discussing Derby’s interest, Francis told the Daily Echo: “It’s always nice when a club comes in but there is not a lot more to it than that.

“Derby is a club close to my family and I have a lot of friends up that way. It was something I was aware of over the summer but the valuation was never met and it didn’t get far at all.

“It was flattering that a club of their calibre showed an interest but I think that’s down to what we’re doing as a club, as a group of players and how the manager has got us playing. 

“A lot teams are watching a lot of the lads, not just me but if we keep playing the way we did at Huddersfield there’s no doubt we’ll be climbing the table and be up there in our own right. 

“I would probably say I had the chance to show what I was about before but I let it slip when I was younger. I played at a couple of Championship clubs and through fault of my own I didn’t grab my chance with both hands or relish the challenge like I am now.

“I’m enjoying it more than ever, playing some of the best football of my career, especially last season, and I’m hoping that can continue. 

“I am the happiest I have ever been in my career. I’m at a good age now and I want to be playing my best football at the highest possible level. 

“I wouldn’t be saying that and I wouldn’t be at this club if I didn’t think we were good enough to kick on and get to the Premier League.”