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Damiao happy at Internacional; Mboyo rejected offer from Norwich City

Brazil international striker Leandro Damiao has thanked Tottenham Hotspur for showing a recurring interest in him, but insists that he is happy to stay at Internacional.

Brazil international striker Leandro Damiao has thanked Tottenham Hotspur for showing a recurring interest in him, but insists that he is happy to stay at Internacional, according to Sky Sports.

Damiao, who made his international debut for Brazil against Scotland at the Emirates Stadium in March 2011, has been linked with several of Europe’s top clubs over the past two seasons, with Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur the most notable interested parties.

Spurs have had a number of bids for the 23-year-old Brazilian rejected by Internacional in recent months.

Once again, the north London club were unable to successfully negotiate a deal for their target front-man in January.

Following Spurs’ 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Sunday, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas revealed that ‘third party ownership’ made it difficult for the two clubs to finalise a deal on deadline day, with Damiao’s former club Atletico Ibirama — who are competing in the Campeonato Catarinense at the moment — owning a percentage of the player.

“[Internacional’s] president Giovanni Luigi knows I always wanted to stay at Internacional, regardless of any offers that could come,” Damiao told Correio do Povo.

“I certainly thank Tottenham [for their interest], they are a big club in Europe, but my focus is on Inter.

“I hope to help Inter for a long time, I have a long contract and I am very happy and focused.”

Damiao has made 39 appearances for club and country in 2012-13, netting 18 goals and five assists in all competitions.

Mboyo rejected offer from Norwich City

Belgium international forward Ilombe Mboyo has revealed that he rejected an offer to join English Premier League club Norwich City during the January transfer window, Sky Sports understands.

Mboyo, 25, simply could not convince himself to leave his current club, Jupiler Pro League side K.A.A. Gent, despite receiving a ‘very nice’ offer from a Premier League club, albeit Norwich City.

The 25-year-old joined Gent from KV Kortrijk in January 2011, and has been on outstanding goal-scoring form for the De Buffalos ever since.

Subsequently, Mboyo earned his first senior call-up to the Belgium national team in October 2012.

“I received a very nice offer from Norwich,” confirmed Mboyo.

“There were people around me trying to force the transfer but I did not want to do it, I wanted to help the team.

“It was not an easy choice. You’re not sure whether you’re again going to get the chance to move to the Premier League. But if I keep playing well, clubs will come back.”

Mon 4 February, 2013
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