Tottenham Hotspur right-back Serge Aurier says his treatment in the French press discolored his reputation and dashed his dream of joining Catalan giants FC Barcelona amid the summer transfer window.
Aurier persevered through a troubled time with Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 after a progression of off-field occurrence that get him banned by PSG and was forced to train with the reserves.
The Ivory Coast international was labelled “Bad Boy” and was excluded from the starting line-up in the wake of insulting teammates and former boss Laurent Blanc via social media, while he also got a suspended two-month imprison sentence for assaulting a cop outside a Paris nightclub.
Aurier departure from PSG was expected amid the transfer window but a move only appeared on deadline day as Tottenham swooped following the departure of Kyle Walker to Manchester City.
Speaking to Canal Plus, Aurier says “I think my reputation made four or five big European sides afraid,”
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.”