Filip Benkovic joined Bristol City on loan despite reported Celtic interest.

Leicester City’s Filip Benkovic has suggested his heart was set on a move to Bristol City despite reported Celtic and Middlesbrough interest, Leicester Mercury report.

Benkovic was heavily linked with a move away from Leicester in January.

The Northern Echo claimed Celtic and Middlesbrough were among the clubs interested.

But Bristol City won the race for his signature. Now, speaking to reporters, Benkovic claimed he knew of the Robins’ interest from weeks ago and was excited at the prospect of moving to Ashton Gate.

“I found out about interest from Bristol City a few weeks ago and I was really excited about that option. Now I’m here, I’m really grateful for that opportunity because the club has the opportunity to do something big. I’ll work hard every day,” Benkovic explained.

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Benkovic joined Leicester for a reported £13 million fee from Dinamo Zagreb.

The central defender, however, has struggled for game-time with the Foxes and spent last season on loan at Scottish Premiership champions Celtic.

Benkovic worked with current Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers at Celtic. He helped the club win the Scottish Premiership, the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup.

Current Celtic boss Neil Lennon may have wanted to bring him back to strengthen the club’s bid for another domestic clean sweep amid competition from Rangers.

But the Croatian has instead joined Bristol City. Lee Johnson’s side are currently sixth in the Championship table and are chasing a playoff spot this season.

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