Marveaux excited by Magpies

Image: Marveaux: Delighted to have joined Newcastle and looking forward to playing in the Premier League

Sylvain Marveaux has insisted Newcastle were not his second choice after coming close to joining Liverpool.

Newcastle recruit relishing Premier League challenge

Sylvain Marveaux has insisted it was not his second choice to join Newcastle after coming close to a move to Liverpool. The Frenchman was expected to link up with Kenny Dalglish's side earlier this month after holding talks with Anfield officials. However, it emerged over the weekend that Newcastle had won the race for the out-of-contract Rennes midfielder, signing Marveaux on a five-year deal. The 25-year-old has already rubbished claims that he failed a medical with Liverpool, declaring that he is 'perfectly fit' but could not agree terms with the Reds. But he maintains that he does not feel disappointment over missing out on a switch to Merseyside as he is delighted to have joined Newcastle. Marveaux says the Magpies have been chasing his signature for some time and he is excited about what he has heard regarding the club's fan base and ambition. He told France Football: "Indeed, I was very close to joining Liverpool. People knew I was a free agent and I didn't want to extend at Rennes. "In January, Newcastle were the very first to contact me. Then, there was Liverpool, and I gave them my consent. "But I never stated it was already done with the Reds. Then, last Thursday and Friday, there were some changes and I made the decision to sign at Newcastle. "The medical at Liverpool went off smoothly, I am fit to play and perfectly healthy. Actually, things already established had to be negotiated again. "So I decided to change my mind and sign with Newcastle, who never gave up. It was not a second choice. "That club has big impact in England, with a wonderful stadium and amazing fans. The club also has a lot of ambition."

Ben Arfa influence

Marveaux is looking forward to playing in the Premier League after deciding 12 months ago that he wanted to leave Rennes, and a conversation with Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa helped persuade him to come to St James' Park. "For one year, I wanted to play abroad. Last summer I could have joined another French club, but it was not sorted out," he explained. "So I really wanted to change my league, discover a new context, and England quickly became my first choice. "With Hatem Ben Arfa, we talked when we met at the rehabilitation centre at Clairefontaine. "He told me, during the short time he played without being injured, he was very happy there. "Today I feel perfectly fine and I will go on working during the holidays to come back perfectly fit for the resumption. "I need to be fit at 100 per cent. But I don't put myself under specific pressure."

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