Serge Aurier has said he would never have joined the “enemy” because he has “too much respect” for Tottenham.
The Ivory Coast full-back joined LaLiga side Villarreal this week after seeing his contract terminated by mutual consent on transfer deadline day.
Aurier, 28, initially moves to Unai Emery’s Europa League holders on a deal until the end of the season, with the option for two further campaigns.
It’s the second time he has played for former Arsenal boss Emery after linking up with him earlier in his career at Paris Saint-Germain.
Calcio In Pillole reporter Ekrem Konur claimed that Arsenal were offered Aurier. What is more, Mikel Arteta had given the green light for the Gunners to initiate talks with the player.
However, that deal was never going to happen with Aurier now revealing he had too many good times at Spurs to consider a switch across north London.
Aurier wrote in an Instagram post: “First of all, I would like to thank all the Spurs fans for these four wonderful seasons with you.
“They were all different but I leave with some great memories. I really enjoyed playing the game wearing your colours proudly.
“It is true that not everything was perfect, there were moments of joy and sadness but know one thing, I have always played 100 per cent, without cheating!
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“I have never seen myself at another club in England if not at your place! And I didn’t see myself joining the enemy even less because I have too much respect for our club, for our history and for all our moments shared together.
‘I liked to set the mood’
“You have shown unfailing support during these four seasons. I really want to thank you because you have given me so much!
“The last few months have not been easy. And I would have liked to say goodbye to you on better terms. But each story comes to an end, you have to know how to accept it and move on!”
“Speaking to you, my former team-mates, my brothers with whom I have lived so much. I really enjoyed playing with you, I know you will miss me especially in our locker room where I liked to set the mood.
“I wish you the best for this season and I promise I will be seeing you again. You will not be forgetting me anytime soon! Good luck @spursofficial.”
Aurier made 110 appearances for Spurs after joining from PSG in 2017 for a fee of around £23m.