Date: 7th August 2006 at 1:22pm
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The prospect of plying his trade in the Premier League was the reason Danny Shittu turned down West Brom in favour of Watford, according to Baggies` Chairman Jeremy Pearce.

The Nigerian international was set to join the Championship outfit when Albion had agrees a fee with Rangers; the player arrived at the Hawthorns for talks and a medical. However, the Hornets put in an increased offer for the former Charlton defender, which was accepted by the West Londoners.

“We were well aware of Watford’s initial interest in the player but were told by his agent that their interest had ended,” West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace told the club`s official site.

“Therefore, we negotiated a fee for the player with QPR in good faith and reached agreement with them on Thursday night. We arranged for the player to travel to The Hawthorns on Friday morning.

“The player arrived at the club with his agent. He underwent a medical and was offered what we believe were very good terms over a long-term contract,” he added.

“We feel we did everything possible to secure the player. However, we found out during the course of our negotiations that Watford’s interest had been rekindled and that the player wanted to have talks with them.”

“Clearly, the lure of playing in the Premiership has influenced the player’s decision,” concluded a disappointed Pearce.

The six-foot defender, who was Rangers` 05/06 Player of the Season, has been a long-term target of Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd and joins the Hornets on a three-year deal.