Valencia midfielder Tino Costa has revealed he almost joined former Los Che boss Unai Emery at Spartak Moscow during the summer.
Speaking in an interview with Marca, the Argentine international disclosed that the Russian Premier League club, now managed by Emery, approached him with an offer.
But Costa has confirmed that he is happy in Valencia, and looking forward to the new season under Emery's successor Mauricio Pellegrino.
“I appreciated the call from Emery,” he told the Spanish daily. “But I was surprised. I have nothing against him, I don't think he's a bad person, but we both have strong characters and when he was at Valencia we clashed.
“At times last season I was not playing in big games, and that generated some doubt within me. I did not know the new coaching staff and what they thought of me.
“I have always been happy at Valencia. I had a brief moment of doubt when the coaching staff changed, but I ended last year with a good feeling. Feeling important.”
“I had some good offers in the summer, both sporting and economically,” the free kick specialist continued. “But I wanted to know what Mauricio thought of me. We talked before the season started and I liked what he said. He said he could not guarantee the title, but wanted me to stay.”
Costa then turned on those who have questioned whether he is suitable defensively for Valencia's 4-2-3-1 formation.
“There have been some negative things said, that I cannot play in the 'double pivot' role, or that Ever Banega has more quality than me. I cannot deny that, but I give my life in every single game.”
The former Montpellier man concluded by underlining his ambitions for the coming season.
“Personally I would like to score more goals than last season. And collectively..I want to win the title with Valencia.”