Serge Aurier says his treatment in the French press tarnished his reputation and dashed his dreams of joining Barcelona during the close season.
Aurier endured a troubled time with Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 after a series of off-field incidents saw him banned by the club and forced to train with the reserves.
The Ivory Coast international was excluded after insulting team-mates and former coach Laurent Blanc on social media, while he also received a suspended two-month jail sentence for assaulting a police officer outside a Paris nightclub.
His departure from PSG was expected during the last transfer window but a move only materialised on deadline day as Tottenham swooped following the departure of Kyle Walker to Manchester City.
Aurier was relieved to escape but says the attention he received in France cost him a chance of playing alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.
“I think my reputation made four or five big European sides afraid,” he told Canal Plus.
“I was negotiating with Barcelona, very advanced negotiations. And Barcelona’s people were not sure if I came here things would be different.”
Since moving to Spurs the 24-year-old has made eight appearances in all competitions, and Aurier hopes to rebuild his reputation in the Premier League.
“It was the right choice [to leave],” he added. “After a while, I did not feel comfortable with the media.
“For me, it was never going to end. After a while, I felt like a prisoner, with a camera on my back.
“By staying in France, I would have never washed this image.”
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