Serge Aurier has suggested that a proposed move to Barcelona in the summer only collapsed as they were too “afraid” to sign him.
Aurier joined Tottenham from Paris Saint-Germain in August, the north London club signing him for around £23million on transfer deadline day.
The right-back had spent three years in the French capital, but courted controversy both for his use of a homophobic slur and for assaulting a police officer on a night out.
Tottenham took the risk in signing him, but Aurier himself says Barcelona were reluctant to.
“I think my reputation made four or five big European sides afraid,” he told Canal Plus.
“I was negotiating with Barcelona, very advanced negotiations. And Barcelona’s people were not sure if I came here things would be different.”
“It was the right choice [to leave],” he added. “After a while, I did not feel comfortable with the media.
“For me, it was never going to end. After a while, I felt like a prisoner, with a camera on my back.
“By staying in France, I would have never washed this image.”
Barcelona have moved to refute the claims, with a spokesperson telling Spanish newspaper Sport: ‘We never sat down with the player or his representative, they wanted to sit down with us but we never did anything.’