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Giulio Donati exclusive: Lecce fullback regrets rejecting Brighton, Burnley

Lecce left-back Giulio Donati admits he does regret not moving to the Premier League earlier in his career.

Donati was signed as an exciting young prospect by Inter Milan in 2008 at the age of 18, but made only one appearance during his time at the club.

He would spent time on loan at Lecce, Padova and Grosseta, before Bayer Leverkusen paid €3m for his signature in 2013.

It was when the Italian was at Mainz, whom he joined after Leverkusen in 2016, when Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion came calling.

And Donati has revealed it was partly his fault for not wanting to take the next step to move to England.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with, Donati said: "When I was at Mainz, not at Bayer, I was contacted not only by Burnley, but in a more concrete and official way from Brighton & Hove Albion, but at the end we didn't close the deal.

"Maybe it was my fault, because I didn't feel like going there for many reasons; but, in hindsight, that's one of my biggest regrets, because the Premier League has always been one of my dreams.

"I could have played there and, I didn't take that opportunity."

Donati eventually returned to Lecce in December 2019 after eight years away from the club.

He has started the Apulia club's last four Serie A matches.

Fabio Liverani's side are currently 17th on the table, one point above the relegation zone.

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