Hugo Ekitike says he would have joined Newcastle United if he had departed Ligue 1, but that he was unable to refuse the chance of a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Reims striker signed a loan deal with the French champions, which includes an obligation to buy, earlier this month.
It brought to an end an unsuccessful pursuit from the Magpies, who heavily courted the forward in an attempt to persuade him to come to St James’ Park as far back as the January transfer window.
Now, Ekitike has revealed he remains grateful for the efforts Newcastle made to sign him, but he could not turn down the chance to go to the premier club in his home country when it arose.
“I had an appointment with Luis [Campos, PSG sporting director] which meant a lot to me,” Ekitike told Le Parisien.
“It was not so long ago. We talked a lot, he is someone I value a lot. I wanted to come to PSG before this exchange, but he convinced me even more
“I’m not setting aside everything Newcastle did for me to come. If I had to go abroad, I would have gone there. But when PSG wants you and you’re French, you can’t refuse.”
While Newcastle have made several signings ahead of the new season, Eddie Howe’s side have failed to bring on board a major forward target, potentially leaving them light ahead of the manager’s first full season in charge.
Day 1 pic.twitter.com/1BzHPmvERy
— Hugo Ekitike (@hekitike9) July 27, 2src22