Vurnon Anita has revealed he had the chance to leave Newcastle United this summer – but he was won over by Magpies manager Rafa Benitez.
The Dutchman has been at St. James’ Park since the summer of 2012 after he was prised away from Ajax for £6.7m.
The midfielder has gone on to make over 125 appearances for Newcastle, but he confesses he was tempted to leave after the side was relegated last season.
Benitez, however, persuaded the 27-year-old to stay on Tyneside, and he has become a key figure in the Magpies’ push for promotion from the Championsip – playing all but two league games.
“There was some indirect interest, also from the Netherlands,” Anita told Dutch magazine Voetbal International.
”At Newcastle I have experienced many good times, in difficult times like now I did not feel ready to need to leave.
“And I liked working with the manager, Rafa Benitez, in the second half of last season. My contract expires after this season, so it’s a year on full throttle.”