Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is adamant that Andy Carroll was not forced to leave the club for Liverpool and that he only did so after seeing his demands for a new deal fall on deaf ears.
The England striker's £35million-plus transfer to the Anfield club was one of the shocks of deadline day, with Pardew having previously stated that Carroll would be going nowhere.
Pardew has claimed that Carroll asked Newcastle for a new deal, despite only signing one in October, and asked to leave once that request was turned down, which contradicts the former Newcastle number nine, who sent a text message to a Newcastle fanzine editor claiming he had been forced out.
Talking to the Shields Gazette, Pardew said: "We didn't force anybody to leave.
"I disagree with that point. He had a contract here for five years, and at some point it would get renewed, but for him to sign in October and it get renewed in January - where would it stop?
"Personally, I'm disappointed. He's a lovely lad, and I really like him, but it was his decision, and you can't change that. Was this about football? That's what you have to ask. I don't think it was."