Sergio Ramos has said that he intended to accept Real Madrid's offer of a one-year extension but was told that he had run out of time.
The centre-back will continue to play football at the highest level, but claims that he does not know which team he will represent next season.
What has Ramos said?
Speaking at his farewell press conference, Ramos said: "The first thing I want to say is that I never wanted to leave. I wanted to stay here. The club offered me the possibility of extending my contract, but because of Covid it was put on the back burner.
"The club made me a one-year offer with a salary reduction. I have to say that there was no economic problem. I wanted two years and peace of mind for me and my family.
"During the last talks, I accepted the one-year offer, but I was informed that it was no longer possible, that it had an expiration date and that I had not heard about it."
He added on the specifics of the contract: "The conditions have changed several times, on their part and on ours.
"It got to a point where we had to make a decision but they never told me that the offer had an expiry date. It's understandable but it surprised me, that the offer had expired."
'A person of integrity'
Ramos leaves behind an incredible legacy in Madrid, the 35-year-old having won five La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey, four Supercopas de Espana, four Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups and four Club World Cups.
"I'm one of those people who likes to be defined by others," Ramos added. "If I had to use one word it would be purity. I have given my soul for this club. That's how I want to be remembered, as a person of integrity."
Relationship with Perez
Despite the breakdown in communication over a contract extension, Ramos insists that he harbours no ill will towards club president Florentino Perez.
"My relationship with the president has always been good," he said. "Like a father and son in sporting terms. He is the one who brought me here and I'll never say a word against him. There are fights in families as well."
"The important thing is not where you are, it's with who," the Spanish centre-back said of where he might end up next season. "We haven't thought at any time about any other club. Since January, when I've been on the market, we've had a few calls.
"But we never thought about leaving Madrid. From here we'll look for a good option for me.
"Sevilla is the other club in my heart where I had a great time but at the moment there is nothing on the table about going back. As for Barcelona... impossible. You will never see Sergio Ramos in a Barcelona shirt."