Raul Meireles claims Liverpool 'forced' transfer to Chelsea
Raul Meireles today accused Liverpool of a broken promise and claimed he was forced to submit a transfer request once they had decided to sell him to Chelsea.
Meireles completed a reported £12m move to Stamford Bridge in the final minutes of transfer deadline day almost two weeks ago, a switch that angered many Reds supporters.
The 28-year-old revealed upon signing for Chelsea that he had never wanted to leave Anfield and that he would eventually explain why he had done so.
He attempted to set the record straight this afternoon after being officially unveiled as a Blues player, appearing to give credence to rumours he was promised a 100 per cent pay rise at Liverpool if he impressed during what was his debut season.
"All I have to say is that I had one promise at Liverpool which wasn't fulfilled," said the midfielder, who certainly lived up to his side of the bargain after joining the Reds from Porto.
"It's not the only thing to blame. But that's why the Liverpool fans are unsure why I left."
He added: "Liverpool asked me to hand in a transfer request, so that's normal."
Meireles admitted he was stunned to discover he had been made available for transfer.
"I was aware that Liverpool wanted to sell me in the summer, which was a bit surprising to me," said Meireles, who was reluctant to discuss his relationship with Reds boss Kenny Dalglish.
"There's no point touching this subject any more.
"I was a bit surprised, but now I'm just concentrating on my present and future, and that's with Chelsea."
Indeed, Meireles was delighted to have ended up at Stamford Bridge.
"When Chelsea showed interest, it was like a golden opportunity," he said.
"I'm here now, it's a new adventure, and I want to do well here."
Meireles' move reunited him with Andre Villas-Boas, who he worked under during pre-season a year ago before joining Liverpool.
He said: "I worked under Andre for one month at Porto, so I felt that there's the same mentality here as there was at Porto - the desire to win competitions and trophies. With Andre, we can do that.
"In one month, it was enough to see how he works and his desire to win things. So it wasn't hard to make the decision to come to Chelsea."
Meireles made an instant impact on his Chelsea debut on Saturday, a brilliant through ball setting up Daniel Sturridge's outrageous backheeled goal at Sunderland.
Portugal international Meireles was coy on whether his year in England had made him better prepared for the rigours of a Barclays Premier League title challenge.
"I had one year to adapt to the Premier League, but it's two different clubs and different styles," said Meireles, who was hoping to make his Champions League bow for Chelsea in tomorrow night's Group E opener against Bayer Leverkusen.
"We chase different competitions, and I just hope I can achieve things here at Chelsea."
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