Pearce - Leeds hard to resist

Defender eager to get started at Elland Road

Jason Pearce: Admits he could not resist the pull of Leeds

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New Leeds signing Jason Pearce says he did not have to think twice about joining the Whites even though other clubs were chasing his signature.

The highly-rated central defender arrived at Elland Road from Portsmouth last week on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee, becoming manager Neil Warnock's first signing of the summer.

The 24-year-old says joining the Championship side was a no-brainer and was not tempted by interest from elsewhere.

Pull

"The pull of Leeds United is there for a lot of players," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"There aren't too many, not in this division, who wouldn't think about coming here.

"I had other clubs interested but this was the place for me. Even when the other clubs came forward there was no turning back. Leeds showed an interest a month or so ago and I've been wanting to get it done for a while.

"I think the gaffer wants young, hungry lads who want to succeed and that's how I see myself. It's what I'm about and I can't wait to get started."

Pearce says manager Warnock's plans to strengthen his squad in the summer was part of the club's attraction, adding: "The gaffer here promised me he'd have plenty of players to bring in and said that I'd be the first part of the jigsaw.

"There's going to be a new crop here and with the right squad we'll have a really good go next season. I'm certain he'll get the right squad."

Pearce admits when he joined Portsmouth from Bournemouth last summer he thought the worst of the club's financial problems were behind them.

But Pompey suffered relegation from the Championship this season after slipping back into administration and the defender says he did not want to go back to playing in League One.

Problems

"When I signed for Portsmouth I didn't expect so many problems," added Pearce. "I thought the finances were right and I believed we'd move forward.

"It wasn't like we were definitely going up but we had some brilliant players. I thought we'd be there or thereabouts but when everything bad started happening, it was asking too much.

"I feel I can cope at (Championship) level and I didn't want to take a backwards step at my age. League One would have been a backwards step and everyone at Portsmouth seemed to appreciate that I wanted to move on.

"But I can't deny that it was hard to leave. We went through a lot at Portsmouth and I hold them close. I was there as a young lad. This move is for my career. I want to succeed and do well."