In an in-depth interview for Spanish outlet AS, Newcastle forward Ayoze Perez has insisted that he is happy on Tyneside, but admits that he did come very close to signing for Spurs just a few seasons ago.
The Spaniard has often been criticised by some sections of supporters at St James’ Park, but he’s come good at the perfect time this season, scoring three goals in his last three games to help make sure of our Premier League status.
Speaking to AS, the 24-year-old admitted that a move to Tottenham was ‘pretty close’ just a few seasons ago, but insists that he is not regretting that after developing his game at St James’ Park:
“In the end it (a move to Tottenham) did not happen. It was a couple of seasons ago.
“Man United was more interest than anything else, but the Tottenham was pretty close. In the end, it did not come to anything, but staying here was not negative.”
The Spaniard then responded to questions over his future on Tyneside, confirming that he is happy in Newcastle – but admitting that he ‘doesn’t know’ what will happen in the long-term:
“I’m very comfortable in Newcastle,”
“It’s the club that has given me the opportunity to play 100 games in the Premier League.
“I’m happy, and in the long term I do not know what will happen.”
Finally, Perez was then asked about alleged interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid prior to his move to Newcastle, also being questioned over a potential return to his homeland one day:
“They were offers to go to the subsidiaries (reserve set-ups). They are among the most powerful clubs in the world. I remember that I had a conversation with my family and my representative but my dream was the Premier League. Since I was little I used to watch it on TV and I wanted to play there. In that sense, the decision was clear. Coming to the Premier was what I wanted. A historic club like Newcastle gave me the opportunity and even today, obviously the decision has been totally successful. I have grown a lot here and I have fulfilled a dream.
“That always tempts a little (to return to Spain). After all, it is your country and I never had the opportunity to play in the first division of Spain. You turn around but the Premier League has me in love. I’m very happy here. More and more players want to come to England. Obviously going back to Spain is something that I have pending but I do not even know when it will be.”
Some really interesting stuff from Perez, with that last response putting to bed bizarre claims earlier in the week that he was all set to join Real Betis.
He needs to add goals and assists to his game on a more consistent basis to fully win me over, but he’s coming into some form in Rafa Benitez’s team right now and long may that continue.