Micah Richards has revealed that he turned down a new contract and more money at Manchester City to sign for Fiorentina.
The 26-year-old completed an initial loan move to the Viola on the final day of the summer transfer window, to end an association with the Premier League side stretching back 13 years to his youth career.
For the defender, though, the time for a change had come, even if it meant taking a pay-cut.
“I’m desperate to play football,” Richards has told Talksport since completing the move.
“It’s been a frustrating 18 months, two years at Manchester City. It’s my club and I’ve given blood, sweat and tears for them and, when you found yourself not playing, it’s hard.
“I was offered a new contract and I had a long think about it. I was offered more money at City but it’s not about the money. It’s about playing football now.
“It was so, so hard to leave and it was an emotional day for me yesterday [Monday]. I’ve been at City for so long and it is my club.
“Hopefully in the future I’ll be back in some capacity because they are a club close to my heart.”