'I was missing things': Defender reveals why he rejected summer transfer to Newcastle

Newcastle United target Christopher Jullien has revealed why he turned down a move to St James's Park.

Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 6:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 6:27 pm
Christopher Jullien has revealed why he turned down Newcastle

The Toulouse defender was heavily linked with a switch to Tyneside over the summer, while Premier League rivals Southampton were also thought to be keen on a deal for the 25-year-old.

Reports linking the Magpies with Jullien emerged in early August, when Rafa Benitez was searching frantically for some defensive reinforcements.

Benitez eventually managed to secure the signing of centre back Federico Fernandez on deadline day, but reports from L'Equipe in France suggested that Newcastle were pushing hard to seal a deal for the France under-20 international.

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The centre back, who has racked up almost 70 appearances for Les Violets, was thought to be on the radar of several clubs across the continent - although Premier League interest was thought to be the strongest.

And the Ligue 1 star has now confirmed that there was interest from England's top flight, but that he felt he wasn't ready to make the move overseas.

Following discussions with his manager, Jullien felt that there were areas of his game that needed improving and that this was best done in his home nation.

In an interview with RMC Sport, Jullien said: "We talked about a departure, but now I'm here. There was interest in me, but it's like that.

"I sat down with the coach [Allain] Casanova and we talked.

"We thought I was missing things today.

"The coach knows football and some players who have gone to the Premier League. And I'm not ready.

"I am listening to learn. The day I'm ready, maybe I'll go elsewhere.

"For the moment, I am very good here. "

Casanova has also aired his views on Jullien's decision to stay, and seemed surprise that such interest was coming after what he felt was a 'very average' season from the centre back.

"The desire to leave, it is necessary to win and deserve it," said the Toulouse head coahc.

"The president knows very well how to do it. From the moment a player has given what he owes to the club, he lets him go.

"Today, Christopher still has things at Toulouse. He has great potential, but had a very average season.

"He must challenge himself to be successful this year at Toulouse."