Davide Astori has explained his decision to turn down a move to Spartak Moscow in preference for staying with Cagliari.
The Italian centre-back was on the verge of completing a €15m move to the Russian Premier League last week and only President Massimo Cellino’s intervention  wrecked the deal at the last moment.
Now set to sign an improved deal with the Sardinians, Astori explained his reasons for switching from almost leaving the club to recommitting to it.
“I have made a choice with my heart, certainly not one tied to money,” reflected the 25-year-old to the assembled media this week.
“Cagliari gave me the freedom to decide my future, I cannot deny that I wavered and, indeed, I was one step away from signing the contract with the Russian club.
“In my decision to stay Massimo Cellino has influenced me, I have spoken with him a lot in recent days.
“He did not expressly recommend that I stay, but he told me that I still have much to give to Italian football and his words have proven to be a decisive factor in my final decision.
“Next season? If we want to take a leap forward then it is necessary to take a step forward in terms of belief.
“The backbone of the team is good and remains unchanged - I think it can be a good year to acquire the right mindset to open the door a little further.”
Astori is being strongly linked with a return to Milan this summer, should Thiago Silva depart to Paris Saint-Germain.