Sofiane Hanni to Burnley was briefly a thing at the end of the transfer window, which we covered, but the Algeria international, instead of trying out the Premier League, decided to move to Russia with Spartak Moscow, a club he’d already agreed to join when the Clarets came knocking.
Swansea City also gave it a go before bringing back André Ayew from West Ham, but their position in the table meant there was absolutely no chance the then Anderlecht attacking midfielder would join them with no guarantees they wouldn’t get relegated at the end of the campaign.
Speaking to Sport/Foot in Belgium about his move, Hanni explained the reason he chose Spartak over Burnley was because of their ability to play European football most seasons, and that’s despite speaking to a member of the club.
He said: “I discussed it with Steven Defour, who told me that Burnley wanted to climb up the table each year. They’re seventh, but the Premier League is so crazy that they could be battling for relegation next year and be in the Championship in two years time.
“I need the excitement of European football each week. That’s why I rejected Swansea. Two days before a game, I got a phone call: Swansea want you. The next day, a private jet would have waited for me and wages wouldn’t have been an issue”.
An honest interview from a player who has never been scared of saying what’s on his mind, and even if the standard of football in Russia isn’t that of the Premier League, it still takes a lot to say no to the money they can offer just for the football side of things.
Then again, Spartak aren’t exactly poor.