Tax issue forced Barcelona exit, claims Keita

The Mali midfielder has explained his decision to say farewell to the Catalans was down to a snag in talks over a renewal, but reflected on his time at Camp Nou with great fondness
Seydou Keita has revealed that he failed to reach an agreement with Barcelona over a new contract because of a tax issue.

The 32-year-old completed a transfer to Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Aerbin at the weekend to bring an end to a four-and-a-half year spell in Catalunya, but he admits extending his stay at the club was well within his sights.

"Right until the end, Barcelona and I tried to reach an agreement, but we didn't succeed. That's how it is. It was a tax problem," Keita was quoted as saying by L'Equipe.

"I had a great time at Barca. I've loved the simplicity and humility of the club, the players. I'll never forget that."

Keita put pen to paper on a lucrative deal to play in China, but the midfielder insists that money was not the sole motivation behind his move to Dalian.

"Yes, I will earn money in China, and this could be my last contract, but that's not the only thing. I'm still ambitious," he concluded.