New Inter Milan midfielder Christian Eriksen has claimed that he was blamed for Tottenham’s poor run of form and for not letting his contract expire before joining the Nerazzurri in January. The 27-year-old midfielder joined the Italian side on a four-year deal contract worth £17million.
Eriksen had expressed his unwillingness to stay in North London and would have been out of contract in the summer, prompting Antonio Conte’s side to bring him to San Siro. The Dane also confirmed he rejected a move to Manchester United in favour of a new challenge.
Speaking to BBC Sport on Tuesday, Eriksen said as his seven-year stay in north London was coming to an end, he was booed during matches by fans accusing him of a lack of commitment. He added that he would have preferred a move to Real Madrid but the La Liga giants were not interested in him.
He said: “England, for the last few years, was very hectic.
“After what I said in the summer, it was just about, “when is he going to leave?”
“Every game it was, “Is he leaving? Is he not leaving?” Of course, a lot of people were speaking about it.
“Even the fans you see on the street were like, ‘Thank you, goodbye and good luck”. But I was still there. It was a bit weird. In my head and for my body, it is good that I am in a new place and I can start again.
“I wouldn’t say it affected me. In England, when your contract is shorter, it is like you have to leave now. You are gone. In the end I played about 30 games that were like goodbye games.
“If you have a short contract, you will be the black sheep. Of course, I did the interview. I was very honest. I felt I had to be honest.
“I did get the blame for a lot of stuff, for being the bad guy. I read I was the bad person in the changing room, that ever since I said I wanted to leave, it was no good me being there.
“To be honest, over the last few years, if anything came up, any player would think about leaving but I was the guy who said it publicly.
“In England, when your contract is shorter, it is like you have to leave now. You are gone. In the end I played about 30 games that were like goodbye games. It was like ‘this might be his last game’, ‘this might be his last game’. It kept rolling.
“In my head, I was ready to try something new but felt if nothing came, I was still ready to play for my place. I was not a different player in that sense. But I was in and out of the team.
“However, even if I had a four-year contract, this season would have been difficult after the Champions League final.”
Eriksen also confirmed that United tried to land him but he needed a new challenge and wanted to taste another league apart from the Premier League.
Eriksen said: “We did speak to them of course and we did hear what was possible and what wasn’t possible.
“But, in the end, me personally, I wanted a new challenge. To stay in the Premier League would have been an easy solution.
“Of course, staying at Tottenham would also have been a solution but, for me, it just came down to wanting to try a new challenge in a new country. Once Inter came up it really wasn’t a difficult choice.”