Meireles didn't want to leave

Portuguese insists Villas-Boas was motivation behind Liverpool exit

Last Updated: 07/09/11 5:44pm

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Raul Meireles insists he only decided he wanted to leave Liverpool when it emerged Portuguese compatriot Andre Villas-Boas had targeted him at Chelsea.

The playmaker completed a reported £12million move from Anfield to Stamford Bridge minutes before the transfer window slammed shut last week, reuniting him with former Porto boss Villas-Boas.

There were eerie similarities with Fernando Torres' January transfer between the clubs, with Liverpool having reported in both cases that a transfer request had been submitted.

That is normally read as a sign that a player is trying to force a move, but Meireles, who insisted at the weekend that he was no 'Judas', has suggested that all was not quite what it seemed.

"The people think that I wanted to leave and it is only because Chelsea wanted me. For Andre to want me, that is why I wanted to go."
Raul Meireles Quotes of the week

The 28-year-old, who joined Liverpool from Porto late on in last summer's transfer window, told Chelsea's official website: "When I was in Porto, I knew that I wanted to go and the club wanted to sell me, and I only had to wait for the right choice.

Strange

"I made the right choice last year to come to England and to come to Liverpool and this year was different because I knew that I didn't want to leave Liverpool.

"I felt that the new owners didn't want to sell me, but when I knew that Chelsea and Andre wanted me, it convinced me."

Chelsea's interest in Meireles became apparent towards the end of the transfer window as they began to look like missing out on number one midfield target Luka Modric.

Meireles added: "It was strange, because I knew of the interest of Chelsea, and the interest of the coach, and it was a pleasure to come to this club but it was strange because it was on the last day.

"The people think that I wanted to leave and it is only because Chelsea wanted me. For Andre to want me, that is why I wanted to go."

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