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Besiktas midfielder Jones: Champions League overrode MLS desire

USA international Jermaine Jones has revealed that he had pondered making the move to Major League Soccer during the winter.

The 32-year old midfielder left German club Schalke to sign a permanent deal with Turkish side Besiktas at the end of January and he admits that the lure of potential UEFA Champions League football overrode his desire to play domestically in North America.

"I was thinking about it (MLS) but I wanted to play in the Champions League and obviously MLS teams don't play in the Champions League," the former Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen and Blackburn Rovers man said at national team training ahead of Wednesday's friendly with Ukraine in Cyprus.

"There were no offers or talks but yeah, it was something that I was thinking about."

Jones added that he had been in negotiations with some other clubs in Europe but decided on the Turkish capital of Istanbul which he feels has been a great choice.

"I really like it," he added. "The supporters are some of the best I've seen anywhere in the world. I've settled in really well and it helps when you're living in a city like Istanbul. It's a great club and a great place to live.

"I was talking with some other teams too. In the end I always said to my wife that I wanted a chance to play in the Champions League again and live in a big city, so Besiktas and Istanbul made complete sense for me. When I heard that they wanted me it was an easy decision."

Jones, who has played for the US on 38 occasions, has made just one appearance for Besiktas since arriving at the Vodafone Arena. The Black Eagles are currently sitting third on the Turkish SuperLig table.

During his time in Germany, Jones made over 160 Bundesliga appearances (129 for Schalke) and played 23 times in the UEFA Champions League proper, scoring two goals. He also appeared 15 times in the English Premier League with Blackburn in 2011.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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