Raul Meireles didn’t want to stay, insists Liverpool chief

Damien Comolli has rejected the Portugal midfielder's claims that he was forced out of Anfield on deadline day

raul meireles
Meireles joined Chelsea on transfer deadline day Photo: Ludovic Péron, via Flickr

raul meireles

Liverpool’s director of football Damien Comolli claims the Reds only sold Raul Meireles to Chelsea because the Portuguese midfielder was determined to quit Anfield.

The 28-year-old sealed a switch to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day in a deal believed to be worth around £12m.

Meireles on Monday accused Liverpool of a “broken promise” and said he was forced to hand in a transfer request after the Reds had decided to sell him to the Londoners.

However, Comolli insists Liverpool had no option but to let Meireles move after he made clear his intention to leave Merseyside.

“I think Raul said it himself with what I’ve seen recently in the press,” said Comolli. “Basically, he came to see me and said ‘I want to leave, I want to play for another club’.

“Our intention was not to sell him but we were put in a corner a little bit when he put in a transfer request and said he wanted to go and that he didn’t want to play for Liverpool anymore.

“I think the owners and Kenny have said it, and we all have the same view. When someone doesn’t want to be here it’s difficult to say ‘you are going to stay’.”

Comolli likened the Meireles situation to the sale of striker Fernando Torres in January, who also sealed a move to Stamford Bridge.

“We’ve been through that process in January with Fernando Torres and this felt like the same situation,” he continued.

“We’ve done it, we think it was the right thing to do for the club, because it’s very, very difficult to have somebody here who doesn’t want to be here.

“The job of the manager in the Premier League is already difficult having to manage 25 players and only having 11 to start on a match day, so you have to deal with all the others.

“On top of that if you have someone who is adamant they don’t want to be here and wants to play for someone else, we took the view it’s better if he goes and we get the best possible deal for the club. In the end I think we did well.”

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