Whitehead insists he's happy at Sunderland
He told the club's official website: "It's exciting times for the club and I want to be a part of it.
"The gaffer is planning to bring in some new players and that will only benefit the club and me as a player.
"It will create more competition for places and will improve the overall quality of the squad when we sometimes lacked it last season, so it should enable the club to move on to the next level.
"I certainly want to be a part of that and I am looking forward to the challenge of staying in the team."