Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa has played down reports linking him with a move to English Championship club Sheffield Wednesday, insisting he wants a return to top-flight football instead.
Should the move go through, it will unite the player with the immediate past captain of the senior national team, John Mikel Obi, who is presently with another lower division side, Stoke City.
The 28-year-old, who spent two seasons at Leicester City, is currently without a club having left Saudi side Al Nassr by mutual consent last month.
“I don’t know where the story (potential move to Sheffield) is coming from because I don’t pay attention to rumours and gossip,” Musa told BBC Sport Africa.
“With due respect to the club, I left Saudi Arabia to continue my career at the top level in Europe and that’s the ambition.”
Musa scored 11 goals and provided 14 assists in 57 matches, helping Al Nassr, whom he joined from Leicester City in summer 2018, to the Saudi Pro League and Super Cup titles.
The former VVV Venlo of Netherlands player achieved success in Russia with CSKA Moscow where he won three league titles and added three domestic cup titles, before switching to Leicester City for a club-record fee in July 2016.
The pacey forward failed to establish himself with the Foxes, scoring five goals in 33 matches, with the highlight coming on loan at CSKA where he scored six times in 10 appearances at the Russian club – three times more than he managed in his 21 Premier League appearances, before his move to Asia.
“For some reasons things didn’t actually work out there [at Leicester], but you can’t focus too much on the past,” he said.
“I’d rather try to write a better story if another opportunity to play in the Premier League presents itself.”
Musa has now been strongly linked with a return to the English Premier League and Russian giants CSKA Moscow, where he is highly regarded for scoring 61 times and creating 33 assists in 184 games across two spells.
Newspaper reports have also reported that Turkish clubs Galatasaray and Fenerbahce are interested in signing the Super Eagle.
He refused to confirm or deny media reports in England, Russia and Turkey linking him with different top tier clubs.
“It’s true that there is genuine interest from different clubs, but my agent Tony [Harris] is the one handling that,” he added.
“He knows what I want and I also know I want to play at the highest level at this stage of my professional career.
“I said when I left Saudi Arabia that my utmost desire is to challenge myself competitively at the top level both at club and national team level.
“I’ve continued to keep myself fit for the next challenge and that is the only mind set I need right now.
“But, like every player representing the country, I want to play at the highest level.”
After Vincent Enyeama (101) and Joseph Yobo (100), Musa is Nigeria’s third most capped player in history, having played 95 matches since his debut aged just 17 in 2010.
He helped the Super Eagles win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and played for them in the past two World Cups
Musa scored twice for Nigeria at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup tournaments to become the country’s top World Cup goal scorer.