Nicolas Anelka has said Paris Saint-Germain twice wanted him to return to the club for a third stint before he ended his playing career.
The ex-France international, who started his career at Parc des Princes in 1996 and returned again in 2000 after spells with Arsenal and Real Madrid, most recently played for and coached Mumbai City in the Indian Super League in 2014-15.
Speaking with Onze Mondial, Anelka said PSG made two offers to him since the arrival of their Qatar owners but that he preferred to not return for a second time.
“Yes, twice,” the 37-year-old said when asked if he had the chance to return to Paris before the end of his career. “Before I moved to China, [Carlo] Ancelotti offered me the chance to return. I was at Chelsea at the time. When I left China, 18 months later, they made another proposal.
“I said no. I did not want to. My stories with PSG and France are incomplete, so I preferred to turn it down. When I walk in the street, I like to be like everybody else. In Paris, this is not possible. That is why I love England. I like to be able to do what I want with my life away from the pitch.
“I would have loved to have returned to PSG but deep down, I knew it was impossible. I think a third spell would have been too many. I came back very early the first time but it was still very good. However, after that, I quickly understood I would never return again.”
Anelka only won the 2001 Intertoto Cup with PSG but enjoyed great success elsewhere, notably with Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League. He recently took up a consultancy role with Eredivisie side Roda JC.