New Manchester City signing Ferran Torres has expressed his frustration at the Valencia hierarchy for how they handled his exit, insisting that he was told back in 2019 that he would be the fifth-choice winger at the club.
Torres has, however, painted a bleak picture of his situation with the Liga side, insisting that he made the decision to leave after the club told him they weren't counting on him as an important first-team player heading into the 2019-20 season.
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He told Marca when asked when he first thought about leaving: "I started thinking about it last summer after the European Under-19 Championship. The club told me personally that they weren't counting on me. They literally said that I was the fifth winger in the squad, that reinforcements were coming and other players from other positions were ahead of me.
"It was a very hard blow for me, but what was worse was that they even put me on the market and offered me to teams in Spain. There were calls from 12 La Liga clubs, including Levante and one Segunda Division club. That's when I started thinking about leaving.
"The problem is that there are people within the club and a few journalists who are determined to damage my image. I don't want to leave on bad terms because I'm a Valencia fan.
"When the club decided to put me in the first team I began to come under pressure and criticism. It wasn't just me, but they wanted to harm my representatives and my family.
"The same people who now campaign against me said then that I would fail, which hurt a lot at 17. I have to say that there were other journalists who treated me with love and respect. There are, though, club employees working to smear my image.
"I'm sure I can [return to Valencia one day]. I refuse to think otherwise. Even if there are crooked people. A lot of them won't be there in a few years and I'll have shown that I deserve to return."
Torres, who made 44 appearances in all competitions for Los Che during the 2019-20 season, also revealed the conditions involved for his contract renewal with the Liga club, prior to the agreement being reached with City.
He said: "One was for [Valencia owner] Peter Lim to be involved so that I knew I was important, another was to be captain as I had seen other clubs do, [Atletico Madrid] with Fernando Torres, for example, and the third was to be one of the highest paid players. I wanted two of the three, but none were fulfilled.
"I wanted to stay and I put forward the conditions to do so. They weren't above the club's means. I know they're not in the same position as big European clubs, but I was able to lead that project and wanted to be treated as such. The club didn't want to keep me."
The 21-year-old went on to discuss his indifferent relationship with club captain Dani Parejo, adding: "After three years I'm more mature and mentally stronger, but at 17, no. He's a great player but I never had a relationship with him.
"When I joined the first team at 17, a number of weeks passed before he said a simple 'good morning' to me. He wasn't a good captain with me. The worst of it came after [former Valencia head coach] Marcelino's departure when [Lee] Kang-in and I were seen as culprits in the dressing room and they stopped talking to us for weeks."