June 19 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
20-year-old France youth international Florian Thauvin says footballing reasons were behind his decision to reject interest from Arsenal and Newcastle and sign for Lille in January.
The winger was strongly linked with the Premier League pair throughout the January transfer window but chose to sign for Ligue 1 side Lille before rejoining Bastia on loan until the end of the campaign.
Thauvin admits he was flattered by interest from abroad but insists he had to “put football first” when it came to making a decision over his future.
He told beIN Sport: “[Arsenal and Newcastle] are very big clubs and what’s more the Premier League is a really big league, so I was really happy about their interest.
“It just makes me even more determined to get to the top.”
He added: “I thought about it with my agents. We’ve always put football first, and I thought the offer I got from Lille was the most appealing.”
Lille are currently languishing in mid-table but Thauvin is confident of turning their fortunes around when he joins them next season.
“Even if they’re not doing so well this season, I’m convinced they’ll get their focus back and have a really good season next season.”