Philippe Mexes has stated that he did not want to leave AC Milan during in the summer, and that he is keen to fight for his place in Massimiliano Allegri's side.
The 30-year-old France international had been linked with a move away from San Siro, with Arsenal among a number of European sides reportedly vying for his signature.
However, the centre-back, who is closing in on a first-team comeback after being sidelined by injury, is delighted to have stayed at the club, despite the high-profile exits of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.
"The important thing for me is to be here at Milan," he told journalists on Thursday. "It wasn't the happiest of summers, even though the birth of my daughter brought some smiles to my face.
"It wasn't easy being here training twice a day and hearing all the [transfer] market rumours. I never asked to leave the club. Now I'm back and I want to show the fans that I'm here to stay.
"I never thought about leaving Milan. My present and my future is here."
And after playing in a friendly against Verona as he steps up his rehabilitation, the defender is hopeful that he has finally put his injury problems behind him.
"I feel good, the international break will be useful for me to continue working," he continued. "I need a bit of time to play.
"I just want to work on getting back as quickly as possible.
"At the start of [Thursday's] game, I found it a bit tough. But finally I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. Thank goodness, as I couldn't stand it being on the outside looking in. I need a couple of games to get back to 100 per cent."