Newcastle United striker Ayoze Perez claims he turned down Barcelona and Real Madrid to sign for the Magpies this summer.
The former Tenerife star arrived at St James’ Park for £1.5million in the summer and scored his first Newcastle goal on his first Premier League start against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
His goal – a glancing header into the top corner – proved to be the winner as his side came from behind to snatch a 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane for their first away win since March.
However, the 21-year-old has revealed he could have joined Barcelona or Real Madrid in the summer, which suggests his signing was something of a coup for Alan Pardew and Newcastle.
“Yes, there was interest from those clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid],” Pérez is quoted as saying by the Guardian. “The truth is that the Newcastle bid was quite surprising because firstly there were other teams interested.
“But they pushed very hard to get me. I feel they really valued me. We had to consider the different options and I finally decided to come to Newcastle.
“I have always loved the Premier League but the main reason to come here was how Newcastle valued myself. I felt very appreciated by the club and that was the reason which made me opt to come here.”
Newcastle have had back-to-back wins in the league and will look to make it three on Saturday against an out-of-form Liverpool side.
The Magpies are priced at 3.74 to win that clash at St James’ while a draw is 3.33 and Liverpool are 1.99.