New Sparta Rotterdam head coach Dick Advocaat has revealed he rejected the advances of a Premier League return to take over at the Eredivisie strugglers.
Advocaat made the shock switch to the oldest professional football club in the Netherlands on a deal until the end of the current season – after vacating his interim post as national team coach.
However, the 70-year-old says he was not short of suitors but the decision to return to the Eredivisie is purely based on joining a club close to his heart.
The former Zenit St Petersberg coach represented De Kasteelheren as a player in the early ’80s and joins the club after a 7-0 thumping by Champions Feyenoord before the mid-season break.
“Of course I have a weakness for a few clubs, ADO Den Haag in the first place, but Sparta also because of time there as a player,” he told De Telegraaf.
“But I honestly admit that Sparta was not in my head, but after the defeat against Feyenoord, the club knocked on my door, and even then it could have gone in a different direction.
According to the Dutch publication, Advocaat was lined up as Paul Clement’s successor at the Liberty Stadium following a poor string of results. But after saving Sunderland in 2015 in dramatic circumstances – Advocaat was not prepared to have a second crack at a relegation scrap in England.
“It is nice that they ask you again in the most beautiful competition in the world, but abroad is now definitely over.”