Chelsea deadline day signing Raul Meireles has revealed the reasons behind his move from Liverpool.
The Portuguese international midfielder made the Stamford Bridge switch for a reported £12 million after handing in a transfer request at Anfield, a decision which provoked anger from some sections of the Merseyside faithful.
However, Meireles insistx he had no intention of leaving the Reds until he heard of Andre Villas-Boas' interest, a manager he briefly worked under at Porto.
"It was strange, because I knew of the interest of Chelsea, and the interest of the coach, and it was a pleasure to come to this club but it was strange because it was on the last day," Meireles told the official Chelsea website.
"The people think that I wanted to leave [Liverpool] and it is only because Chelsea wanted me. For Andre to want me, that is why I wanted to go."
Meireles made a similar move back in 2010, moving to Anfield two days before the close of the transfer window after Roy Hodgson moved for the player.
Whilst the timings of the moves were similar, the midfielder insists the two deals were completely different, with a want to leave Porto compared with a desire to play for the Blues under Villas-Boas.
"It was similar because it happened late, but it was different because when I was in Porto, I knew that I wanted to go and the club wanted to sell me, and I only had to wait for the right choice," he continued.
"I made the right choice last year to come to England and to come to Liverpool and this year was different because I knew that I didn't want to leave Liverpool. I felt that the new owners didn't want to sell me, but when I knew that Chelsea and Andre wanted me it convinced me."
It hasn't taken the new No.16 long to settle in to life in west London either, with a handful of friends already plying their trade at Stamford Bridge.
"I have a lot of friends here, Portuguese players that I know from Porto and the national team, and Jose Bosingwa helped me a lot in these first days. I know that Chelsea is a great club, one of the best clubs in the world, and it is not too difficult to convince me to come," Meireles concluded.
"Paulo [Ferreira] and Hilario I know well, and Ramires and David Luiz I know from the Portuguese League where they did a very good job in Benfica.
"They were very difficult opponents,' he adds. 'Ramires only played one year in Portugal and that year they won the championship and he is a fantastic footballer. David Luiz also was very good. We talk the same language so now it is easy."
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