Crystal Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate has revealed Tottenham Hotspur made an effort to sign him while at West Ham United but he rejected the move.
The 30-year-old versatile player joined the Hammers in the summer of 2014 from Belgian side Anderlecht and went on to make 129 league appearances for the side, scoring 12 goals.
Kouyate’s performances generated interest from Tottenham and they were keen to secure his signature by making a formal bid to sign him.
The Senegal international, however, preferred to stay with West Ham after he was rewarded with an improved five-year contract following his fine showings for the side.
The defensive midfielder later moved to Palace in the summer of 2018 and felt it was a decision taken too late and he could have seized the Tottenham opportunity.
“Tottenham wanted to sign me,” Kouyate told Belgian outlet DH, as per Standard.
“I was being pushed to go there, but I hesitated. Slaven Bilic was my manager and wanted to keep me at West Ham, who were offering me a great contract.
“We’d come out of a good season after often being in the relegation zone. I preferred to stay.
“I changed clubs a bit later, maybe too late. I could tell that to a young player: a big club doesn’t always come twice.”
Kouyate has made 64 league appearances since his arrival at Selhurst Park and this season he has featured in 34 games across all competitions for Roy Hodgson’s men.
The midfielder, who started his career in his home country with Yego Dakar, has two years left on his current contract with the Eagles.
He will hope to play a part for Crystal Palace when they face Manchester United in their next league game on Thursday.
Kouyate is currently the Senegal national team captain and featured prominently as the Terenga Lions finished as runners-up at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
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