Rajiv Van La Parra has revealed that Leeds United were keen on signing him this month but added that Middlesbrough were simply more interested.
The versatile attacker moved on loan to Boro this month from Huddersfield Town. The 27-year-old was struggled to earn regular game time with the Terriers this season and had only made five appearances in the Premier League prior to the move.
The last time that Van La Parra tasted competitive action for Huddersfield was back in October. The reported Leeds target is clearly lacking match-fitness but Boro manager Tony Pulis has revealed that the player will make his debut for the Championship club during their FA Cup clash against Peterborough this weekend.
Van La Parra played a key role in helping Huddersfield to win promotion to the Premier League two seasons ago and he was also a first-team regular within David Wagner’s side that overcome the odds and avoided relegation from the top-flight last term.
He however admitted that he was left surprised when he was informed that he could leave the Terriers this month – and turned down a move to Leeds.
“The reason for me is a big question mark,” he told Dutch website ELFVoetbal.
“It really came as a surprise. The trainer makes the decisions. As a player, you respect those choices. I then indicated that I wanted to go to a club where I could go for minutes. Then everything went fast.
“Middlesbrough and Leeds United immediately reported to my agent. Middlesbrough (interest) was more concrete than Leeds. They did everything to get me in. I immediately got a good feeling about it.
“I also wanted to stay in England. I did not hear anything from the Premier League but I actually like to fight for the prizes again.”
Leeds are fighting for promotion to the Premier League this season and the fans will hope that a few additions in the January transfer window can provide another shot in the arm for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
The Whites have suffered a number of defeats in recent weeks but still sit top of the Championship, two points ahead of Norwich City.