PSG star Jese Rodriguez has explained why he turned down a deadline day move to Middlesbrough.
The 23-year-old was one of the Teessiders’ top targets in January, with Aitor Karanka keen to be reunited with the player he worked with for three years at Real Madrid.
However, the winger rejected the chance to sign for Boro on loan in favour of signing for La Liga side Las Palmas.
While he claims he is thankful for the Premier League club’s interest, he explained that he was a “man of his word” and was only ever interested in signing for the Gran Canaria club.
Speaking in front of 9,000 at his unveiling, the Las Palmas-born star, who signed a loan deal until the end of the season, clarified his decision: “I need to be close to my family, to my people.
“I’m a man of my word and I told (Las Palmas president Miguel Angel) Ramirez that if I left PSG, I would go to Las Palmas.
“I did not come here for a holiday. I came to die and fight for the dream we have – to get closer to the European places.
“I am thankful for the interest of other teams, but my thoughts were always clear. I wanted to come here.
“It’s the perfect time to come, I need to play and have continuity. I think things are going to go well for me.”
Speaking about his hopes for the remainder of the season, Jese was in an optimistic mood, hoping he can help his new club enjoy a successful end to the season and qualify for Europe for the first time since 1977/78.
“We have to aim high,” Jese added. “We have a good coach [Quique Setien], good players. We can take a step forward.
“We are six points away from the European [qualifying] places. It’s difficult, but we have to be ambitious.”