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. Pardew claims that Carroll asked Newcastle for a new deal, despite only signing one in October, and asked to leave once that request was turned down.
Pardew said: "We didn't force anybody to leave. 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?"
He added: "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.
"We turned down a big offer, and they came back with a second big offer. We were having a discussion about what we were going to do with that offer when Andy requested to see me.
"I went to see Andy, and face to face we had a conversation about him wanting a new contract, even though he signed on in October, and (he said) if he didn't get that contract, he wanted to go.
"I asked him what he wanted, and I went to the board. We had a discussion about what the ramifications would be for the whole club.
"We decided that we needed the conversation confirmed, and he put in a transfer request, which he did.
"But no club is about one player. We're absolutely gutted that he's gone. It's disappointing, but we're not in a financial position like Liverpool."