Transfer news: Kevin-Prince Boateng favoured German switch to England return
Kevin-Prince Boateng claims a move to Germany was always his first choice despite reported interest from England.
Last Updated: 06/11/13 1:59pm
The Ghana international was on the move over the summer, swapping life in Serie A with AC Milan for that in the Bundesliga with Schalke.
It has been suggested that the option was there for the former Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth midfielder to return to the Premier League, with several clubs believed to be keen.
Boateng, though, says he never met with any interested parties in person, with the matter left in the hands of his representatives, and admits a switch to Schalke was driven by factors other than football.
The Berlin-born 26-year-old said ahead of a UEFA Champions League clash with Chelsea on Wednesday: "About the links, I don't know anything but my agents spoke to all the clubs for sure.
"I chose Schalke for a couple of reasons. I wanted to go back home and I wanted to be close to my little boy, and I think it's a great club.
"There is a big future for this club because we have a lot of young players, and those were my reasons to join."
On his time in England, which saw him struggle for recognition at Spurs and grace the 2010 FA Cup final with Pompey, Boateng added: "Everybody knows I had a difficult time in England when I first arrived.
"I was young and I had all the money at 20 years old and had to play for Tottenham. It was not easy for me, I was choosing the wrong way in that situation.
"Then in Portsmouth I showed what I can do, how I can play football, and I think a lot of people appreciated that."
Meanwhile, Schalke striker Adam Szalai has declared himself fit for duty against Chelsea in midweek, after overcoming an ear problem, and promising Turkey U21 international Kaan Ayhan has penned a new deal with the club.
On an agreement which will keep the defender at the Veltins Arena until 2017, general manager Horst Heldt told the club's official website: "We are very happy to have been able to ensure that Kaan Ayhan stays on at our club.
"He is one more of our home-grown players from our youth academy. We will be able to involve Kaan Ayhan in our future plans."