Vilhena reveals rejected Serie A offers

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Feyenoord midfielder Tonny Vilhena says he had one foot out of De Kuip in the off season, but wasn't convinced that leaving was best for his fledgling career.

At the age of 22, the academy graduate has already featured 184 times in midfield for the Eredivisie champions, since making his first-team debut as a 17-year-old.

And despite having four senior international caps for the Netherlands, Vilhena feels he needs to bide his time with De Stadionclub before finding a club suitable for the next stage of his development – while also revealing personal family issues prevented a possible move.

"I already was a Sampdoria player," he told Voetbal International. "It was €4m, there was an agreement between the clubs, everyone was done. Except for one thing: the signature.

"My mother was really ill, so I didn't want to leave. The Sampdoria president [Massimo Ferrero] insisted, he put his arm around me and said 'Tonny, let's go straight to Genoa and sign a nice contract.'

"I said no though, as I'd done with Inter some years previously. In that case, I wasn't convinced by their plan for me, which included a year on loan at some other Serie A clubs.

"They said they believed in my potential, but at the same time, they signed Ever Banega from Sevilla. Hardly an expression of trust…"