DAMIEN COMOLLI insists Liverpool didn’t want to sell Raul Meireles but were left with no option when the midfielder demanded a move.
The Portugal international (below), who completed a £12million switch to Chelsea on deadline day, has claimed the Reds were looking to off-load him and has accused them of breaking a promise over increasing his wages.
However, director of football Comolli has dismissed the idea that Meireles wasn’t wanted at Anfield and says Liverpool reluctantly agreed to do business when it became clear he was no longer committed.
“Raul came to see me and said ‘I want to leave, I want to play for another club’,” Comolli said.
“Our intention was not to sell him but we were put in a corner a little bit when he put in a transfer request and said he didn’t want to play for Liverpool any more.
“I think the owners and Kenny have said it, and we all have the same view, when someone doesn’t want to be here it’s difficult to say ‘you are going to stay’.
“We’ve been through that process in January with Fernando Torres and this felt like the same situation. We’ve done it and we think it was the right thing to do for the club because it’s difficult to have somebody here who doesn’t want to be here.
“The job of the manager in the Premier League is already difficult having to manage 25 players and only having 11 to start on a match day.
“If you have someone who is adamant they don’t want to be here and wants to play for someone else, we took the view it’s better if he goes and we get the best possible deal for the club. In the end I think we did well.”
Meireles, who scored five goals in 44 appearances for the Reds after signing from Porto, was unveiled as a Chelsea player yesterday.
The 28-year-old attempted to placate Reds fans by insisting he had been forced out the door.
“I had one promise at Liverpool which wasn’t fulfilled,” said Meireles, who believed he was entitled to a hefty wage hike this summer. “It’s not the only thing to blame. But that’s why the Liverpool fans are unsure why I left.
“Liverpool asked me to hand in a transfer request so that’s what I did.
“There’s no point touching this subject any more. I was a bit surprised but I’m concentrating on my present and future with Chelsea. I’m here now, it’s a new adventure and I want to do well here.”
Liverpool should discover the extent of Glen Johnson's hamstring injury today amid fears he could be out for a month. The England right-back made his first appearance of the season at Stoke on Saturday but aggravated the problem which had sidelined him since August.