Ex-Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone insists he did not want to leave the Stadium of Light - but was left unimpressed by the club's ambition.
The Italian stopper had become popular on Wearside, not least for his penalty-saving exploits en route to the Capital One Cup Final in 2014, but left the club following their relegation from the top flight.
Mannone, who now plies his trade in the MLS for Minnesota United, joined Reading - but has now claimed that he was keen to remain with the Black Cats but was pushed to leave as the club looked to cut its cloth following relegation.
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But the former Arsenal youngster admits he was left unimpressed after being told by Martin Bain that the club's ambition was purely to survive in the Championship, rather than targeting an instant return to the top flight.
"I did not want to leave," said Mannone, speaking to thescore.
"Martin Bain was thinking about the financial part and wanting to sell to save the club and get some other players in.
"We spent years before fighting to be a Premier League club and had an amazing cup run.
"To hear somebody in charge say the target was to survive in the Championship, it was not in line with what I wanted.
"I wanted the best for Sunderland and for myself."
Mannone's spell on Wearside coincided with some of the club's more difficult spells of recent years, as they spent time battling against the drop from the top flight.
And he went on to open up on some 'painful' times - and hinted that the attitudes displayed by some of his teammates during the relegation-threatened campaigns left much to be desired.
"It’s painful but you need to carry on and do your best," he added.
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"I always did when I was there and I feel like the fans knew I always did my best to save the club, keep it in the Premier League, and at the highest level.
"Unfortunately, in football these things happen, you can’t control somebody else’s attitude on the training pitch as much as you want.
"Every team has got these problems, I guess, [but] you just need to deal with them.
"Or, at least, the club and the manager need to deal with them."