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Atletico wanted me more - Alderweireld

ESPN staff
September 3, 2013
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Toby Alderweireld says he turned down offers from other clubs, including Liverpool, to sign for Atletico Madrid from Ajax.

The highy-rated 23-year-old was one of the regular staples of the summer transfer window, with regular speculation also linking him with a move to Tottenham or Everton. But the Belgium international finally signed for Atletico on Monday evening after leaving Ajax for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £5.9 million.

Alderweireld told the Spanish media that his new side had made the biggest effort to win him over.

"The club have been following me now for two or three weeks, and you could see they really wanted me," he said. "That is why I turned down approaches from other teams.

"Liverpool, for example, appeared in the last few days, but the truth is that Atletico made a huge effort to convince me."

Alderweireld added his international colleague Thibaut Courtois had helped him decide to move to the Estadio Vicente Calderon.

"Courtois is naturally very happy with my arrival," he said. "In the end I am coming to 'his Atletico'. He said positive things to me as I was studying the offer. He said it was a club with great fans and that he was very happy playing at the Calderon."

Liverpool did complete deals for two defenders on transfer deadline day, with Thiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho both arriving at Anfield. Ilori, a 20-year-old centre-back joins from Sporting Lisbon for a fee of around £7 million, while Sakho has left Paris Saint-Germain to sign a long-term contract at Anfield for a fee in the region of £12 million. Victor Moses also arrived from Chelsea on loan.

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