Leeds United and Southampton transfer target Joseph Paintsil revealed that he turned down offers from both clubs as they ‘couldn’t convince’ him to make the jump from Genk.
The Saints initially attempted to prise the Ghanaian winger away from the Belgian side by negotiating a swap deal that would see out-of-favour striker Paul Onuachu head back to the Cegeka Arena, according to journalist Sacha Tavolieri.
However, this transfer never materialised and, instead, Southampton allowed the Nigerian centre-forward to join Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor on a season-long loan.
Just a few days before the window closed, The Athletic revealed that the Saints’ Championship rivals Leeds United made a move to sign the 25-year-old and were willing to offer £8.5 million with a sell-on clause that Genk would receive in case of any future sale but, once again, no deal came to fruition.
Speaking to Belgian outlet Het Laatste Nieuws, as per Sport Witness, Paintsil himself admitted that he didn’t leave Genk as he wasn’t convinced by the prospect of moving to Elland Road or the St. Mary’s Stadium [quotes via Football League World]:
“I’m still here. There were many rumors, many possibilities.
“When my agent said that I could go to Southampton and Leeds United, it quickly became clear to me that I did not want to leave Genk for those clubs.”
The attacker also disclosed his desire to play in the Premier League which may be the driving factor in his unwillingness to join a club in England’s second tier:
“Every player has certain expectations. My dream is to one day play in the Premier League. Or at least in a top-five European league.
“I don’t want to say that Southampton and Leeds are bad teams, but they couldn’t convince me. After my performances, I expected more last season. I want to have another season here to see which clubs offer themselves.”
It’s clear that if Southampton or Leeds United were still in the top flight, Paintsil would have no problem putting pen to paper and accepting a move away from Genk.
However, it seems obvious that the reason he didn’t take either club’s offer was because he doesn’t fancy spending the entire season in the Championship.