Norwich and Southampton were both interested in Kalidou Koulibaly, but the defender’s agent says either club would have been a step down from Napoli.
The centre-half was made available by the Serie A side, with Bayer Leverkusen also having held talks with the 24-year-old.
But Bruno Satin claims his client did not want to take a step down from Napoli, who were also demanding a high fee.
The agent said: “Early in the summer the player was put up for sale, but with a very high asking price,”
“Maybe at a certain point they realised that it could be a mistake to sell him. Also, the teams interested were not on the same level as Napoli.
“We spoke to Southampton, Norwich and Bayer Leverkusen, they were looking for a defender on loan. Napoli asked for twice as much as they’d spent.”
He added in an interview with Radio Kiss Kiss: “The club were looking at a lot of players for the defence, when they already had a player like Kalidou who is potentially stronger than some of them.
“The lad was happy in Naples, and didn’t want to take a step back in his career. I hope now that he can find space under [coach Maurizio] Sarri.”