Tottenham Hotspur new boy Moussa Sissoko says France captain Hugo Lloris' glowing recommendation of life in north London convinced him to shun a move to Everton on deadline day in the summer transfer window. The 27-year-old swapped Newcastle United for White Hart Lane on a five-year deal but not before flirting with a move to Merseyside.
The Daily Telegraph understand Sissoko had agreed to join the Toffees after the club matched his £30m valuation, but failed to return calls from manager Ronald Koeman and did not turn up to discuss personal terms with the Goodison Park club. Spurs then matched the offer and secured a deal in the twilight of the window.
Sissoko has penned a deal until 2021 and now reveals that international colleague Lloris – the Tottenham skipper – convinced him to move to Mauricio Pochettino's side. Lengthy talks between the two led to Sissoko being persuaded to switch to last season's Premier League third place side and he is thrilled to link up with his close friend.
"He's a good friend for me," he told Tottenham's official website. "When we are with the national team we speak a lot, we laugh a lot. He's a great player and when he spoke to me about this club he told me that it's amazing and everything is here for me to play some good games and to fight with the best teams in England. Today I'm happy and he's happy because we will play together in the Premier League."
An eye-catching display in the European Championship final against Portugal led to Sissoko seeking a move away from St James' Park, where he had played a role in Newcastle being relegated from the top flight last season. Sissoko spoke regularly about his desire to leave the club for a side in the Champions League – including Real Madrid – and is thrilled to have the opportunity to impress in Europe's premier club competition.
"I'm very happy, very proud to be here," he added, ahead of group games against CSKA Moscow, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco. "I am in the prime of my career and I want to play for a big team, I have the chance now with Tottenham so I'm looking forward and I hope we will do well in the Premier League and in the Champions League also.
"I've said a lot of times that I want to play in the Champions League so that's one of the reasons why I came here – to have the possibility and the chance to play this year. I will fight every day at the training ground and then in the games and give my best for this team. I hope we will all do well together."