Alex Teixeira said he still ‘dreams’ of a move to the Premier League after missing out on a big-money switch to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, while speaking to A Spor at his unveiling with the Super Lig giants.
While the 31-year-old striker has Champions League to look forward to in Istanbul this season, a pang of regret continues to hang about in the back of his mind.
Five years ago, Liverpool launched a bid in the region of £25 million for a man who was scoring goals by the bucketload for Ukrainian outfit Shaktar Donetsk (Guardian).
This was a time where football was on the up in China, however, and Liverpool could do nothing but stand by and watch on as Jiangsu Suning blew one of Europe’s biggest clubs out of the water with an eye-watering £42 million bid – one Shakhtar simply couldn’t refuse.
Has Alex Teixeira missed his Premier League chance?
“When I left Shakhtar, it was advertised as if I had chosen money over the Premier League,” says Teixeira, who scored a remarkable 22 goals in 15 league games during his final season in Ukraine.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world. Unfortunately, the negotiations with Liverpool had come to a dead end and Liverpool gave up. While I was disappointed with this, good offer came from China.
“The offer from China was one I couldn’t refuse. I made a completely rational decision. But I definitely did not prefer the Premier League to China. My dream is the Premier League, the best league in the world.”
After five seasons and 72 goals in the Far East, Teixeira is now back in the West, joining forces with Michy Batshuayi, Miralem Pjanic and close friend Josef de Souza at Besiktas during the summer transfer window.
“There were much better offers, but both the Champions League and this close friendship brought us together in Besiktas,” Teixeira adds.