Liverpool flop explains why he ‘turned down’ Newcastle move

Milan Jovanovic has explained why he rejected an approach from Newcastle after his forgettable season at Liverpool.

Jovanovic joined the Reds as a free agent in July 2010, having agreed the move while Rafa Benitez was still manager at Anfield.

Though the Spaniard resigned the prior June, Jovanovic kept to his agreement but struggled to make an impact on Merseyside, making just 18 appearances for Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish.

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He left after just one season to join Anderlecht and win consecutive Belgian league titles before retiring in 2013, but had the option to prolong his stay in the Premier League.

The Serb has claimed that Newcastle, having eased to mid-table safety in their first campaign back in the top flight, made an approach to sign him.

But Jovanovic rejected the Magpies, who finished 5th in 2011/12 after instead signing Demba Ba, because he “didn’t want to go one step down in England”.

“After that second part of the season, I had to find a rational solution to extend my career,” he told The Athletic.

“If I had been 25, I would definitely have stayed and fought for my place in Liverpool, like I did always in my life and I believe I would have had success. But I was 30 and needed to play.

“Newcastle called me and I could have stayed in the Premier League but I turned them down.

“With all due respect towards them, if I couldn’t find my spot and leave a trace in Liverpool, I didn’t want to go one step down in England.

“I wanted to sign for a club that had winning ambitions and played in the Champions League.┬áThe Belgian league is not as strong as the Premier League, but Anderlecht is a big club too.”

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