New Delhi: Hero of Newcastle United's win over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday has made a rather “sensational” claim.
Ayoze Perez, who scored a winner in the Magpies' 2-1 over Spurs, said two European football giants – Real Madrid and Barcelona were willing to sign him before he decided to ply his trade under Alan Pardew in England.
Perez's winning goal on Sunday meant Newcastle picked up their first Premier League victory away from home since the last eight months.
Perez completed his move from Spanish Segunda Division club Tenerife for £1.6million in the summer. Newcastle signed the 21-year-old after he scored an impressive 16 goals in the 2013-14 season.
His performance in La Liga drew interest from European champions Real Madrid and Barcelona. As shocking as it may sound, Newcastle beat them to Perez's signature.
“Yes, there was interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid,” Perez was quoted 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".