Racing Genk forward Jonathan Paintsil has revealed he turned down Leeds United and Southampton this summer as they don’t match his ambitions.

The forward has been speaking to Het Laatste Nieuws regarding the summer transfer window, which saw him heavily linked with a move away from the Belgian club.

The forward had earned himself plenty of admirers in Europe this summer after an impressive season for Genk that saw him back 18 goals and 14 assists in 39 games in all competitions.

Those are impressive numbers to say the least and had clubs in England particularly keen, with relegated duo Leeds and Southampton both trying to make a move happen.

They were both keen to sign the 25-year-old to reinforce their squads, as they look to get back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, and made bids to that effect.

Genk seemed happy to sell for the right price, but it was Paintsil who stopped the transfers from happening, with various reports making it clear that he was eyeing a move to somewhere other than the Championship.

That’s a desire he has now expressed publically, explaining why he turned down Leeds and Southampton when they approached him this summer.

“I’m still here. There were many rumors, many possibilities,” he said.

“When my agent said that I could go to Southampton and Leeds United, it quickly became clear to me that I did not want to leave Genk for those clubs.

“Look, every player has certain expectations. My dream is to one day play in the Premier League. Or at least in a top five European league.

“I don’t want to say that Southampton and Leeds are bad teams, but they couldn’t convince me. After my performances I expected more last season. I want to have another season here to see which clubs offer themselves.

“I also believe in our team. Despite the departure of Mike (Trésor, to Burnley), we are still strong. Based on our qualities, we can play for the title again, just like last year.”