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Ayala admits interest from Championship club

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Middlesbrough centre back Daniel Ayala has admitted that there was interest from a Championship side during the summer.

The Spaniard had worked under Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez at Liverpool after the Magpies boss signed him as a youth player from Sevilla for the Reds. Newcastle were subsequently linked with the 25 year old as they looked to strengthen the centre of their defence during the summer transfer window, but Ayala told the Northern Echo that although he knew there was an opportunity to move, he wanted to play for Middlesbrough in the Premier League as he had been working hard to play at the highest level:

“There was a lot of speculation during the summer. I was aware of clubs being in contact but my main focus was to stay in the Premier League with Middlesbrough. I have been here for three years and I have fought a lot to be in the Premier League, so I was never looking to go back down to the Championship or even to play for another club in the Premier League.”

Newcastle eventually signed Grant Hanley from Blackburn Rovers instead for £5million, ending their links with Ayala. The Spaniard meanwhile signed a new four year deal to stay with Boro at the beginning of August. The defender had also been linked with a £15million move to Everton before signing his new contract in the summer.

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