Sebastien Haller was heavily linked to Newcastle United during the last summer transfer window, with Rafael Benitez said to be keen on the then FC Utrecht striker. Haller had been receiving interest from clubs around Europe, and Newcastle being keen made a certain level of sense, and could have offered Haller a route to the Premier League.

A move didn’t happen, but L’Equipe have suggested there was a return from Newcastle, presumably in the winter transfer window. The French newspaper asked Haller specifically about recent approaches from Newcastle and Sporting Lisbon.

L’Equipe wanted to know why, with Newcastle and Sporting interest, Haller decided to commit himself to Eintracht Frankfurt instead, who he signed for this month.

“It’s a combination of things,” explained Haller. “Whether that’s fans, the stadium, the coach (Niko Kovac), I felt immediately a feeling. I was introduced to a project built around me.

“Germany is a championship that has always attracted me. Frankfurt is a good step to continue to progress.”

Asked if Newcastle United and England came too early for him, the 22 year old said: “It could have been an option, but to sign in the Championship,  is this growth? The Premier League, it was a bit premature. I still need to play, to prove myself. In my opinion, Frankfurt, in terms of style of play, role, progression… it’s the perfect choice. It seemed most logical to continue to progress and have fun.”

Frankfurt finished 11th in the Bundesliga this season, and will be hoping that Haller can help them kick on. The youngster may well have found a great stage at Newcastle under Benitez, but clearly wasn’t keen on the move.