Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen has expressed his frustration after a proposed move to La Liga failed to materialise over the summer.
The Denmark international expressed a desire to undertake a new challenge at the end of last season, having helped Spurs reach a first-ever European Cup final.
The 27-year-old has just one year left to run on his current deal at Tottenham and he will be available to leave the club for nothing at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.
The Lilywhites are eager to tie Eriksen down to fresh terms, but the playmaker still laments his failure to push through a transfer to Real Madrid while the English window was open.
“No, it wasn’t ,” he told Danish outlet Ekstra Bladet – as per the Evening Standard. “But it is football and you never know what happens in football. Many things always come into play.
“I wish I could decide [my future] just like in the Football Manager [game], but unfortunately I can’t.
“I know a lot of people are interested in where to play. I understand that well.”
Speaking ahead of Denmark’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Gibraltar on Thursday, Eriksen added: “That’s the way it is. For me, it’s not been hard to clear my head. I don’t read much of what is written.
“And now I have been involved for many years, where there have been many rumours every year. But it’s clear that it’s been a little more violent this year because my contract is about to expire.”
Zinedine Zidane was thought to be keen on luring Eriksen to Santiago Bernabeu this summer, but Madrid did not end up launching a formal offer for his services.
ES reports that Barcelona were also interested, with the Spanish duo free to reignite their pursuits in the new year, at which time Eriksen will be able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement.
Since joining Tottenham from Ajax in 2013, Eriksen has been a superb servant for the club, playing a key role in Mauricio Pochettino’s side’s rise to prominence in the Premier League.
However, it appears his days in north London are now numbered unless Spurs can convince him to perform a u-turn and pledge his future to the club over the next few months.