Marseille's Duje Caleta-Car Reveals Reason for Turning Down West Ham Move

Oct 27, 2020, 5:00 PM GMT
Caleta-Car chose to turn down West Ham in favour of staying at Marseille | LOIC VENANCE/Getty Images

Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car has revealed that he turned down a 'good offer' from a Premier League club as he was keen to stay put and fulfil his dream of playing Champions League football with Les Phocéens.

The 24-year-old attracted interest from West Ham during the recent transfer window, with the Hammers even submitting a £20m offer for his services as David Moyes looked to strengthen his defence. Indeed, the two clubs had come to an agreement over the transfer fee, but the deal ultimately collapsed.

Duje Caleta-Car
West Ham had agreed a fee with Marseille for Caleta-Car | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

It appeared as though Caleta-Car would eventually become a West Ham player, but he rejected the chance to move to east London and instead stayed put at Marseille. Now speaking ahead of his side's Champions League tussle with Manchester City on Tuesday, the Croatian has revealed that he chose to stay as he would be able to play in Europe's top competition with the Ligue 1 outfit.

"Yes, it's true. I had an offer from a club in the Premier League. It was a really good offer for the club and for me," he told reporters ahead of Tuesday's tussle with City, via RMC Sport.

"But I decided to stay to play Champions League [football] because it was the biggest dream in my life. When I was young, I had dreamt about it, so that was the first reason."

Duje Caleta Car
Caleta-Car started Marseille's opening Champions League group game | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

While the Hammers were unable to land Caleta-Car, Moyes was able to strengthen at the back before the close of the window with the addition of Craig Dawson on loan from Watford.

Caleta-Car played the full 90 minutes as Marseille suffered defeat in their opening Champions League group game, losing 1-0 to Olympiacos. As for their next opponents Man City, they currently top Group C after coming from behind to beat Porto 3-1 in their opening game.

Caleta-Car has made a strong start to the 2020/21 campaign after making the decision to stay and has even netted twice in just nine games so far.