Rafael van der Vaart has revealed he considered rejoining Tottenham Hotspur during the summer transfer window, prior to signing for Real Betis.
Van der Vaart enjoyed two successful seasons at White Hart Lane from 2010 to 2012, helping the club reach the quarter final of the Champions League, where they were beaten by Real Madrid.
But Tottenham remain in the Netherlands international's heart and prior to agreeing to join Betis for the 2015-16 campaign, Van der Vaart admits he looked into returning to North London.
"Because I didn't have a contract [this summer] I almost tried to come back [to Tottenham], then Betis came and I decided to come to Betis, but Tottenham was always special," he told The Mirror.
"But if [Tottenham] had wanted me, I would have gone [back]. But Betis came and the decision was quite quick: Betis."
Despite scoring 28 goals during his first two seasons, the attacking midfielder was told he had no future at the club by then newly appointed boss Andre Villas-Boas – who had replaced sacked manager Harry Redknapp.
The Portuguese tactician went on to be sacked himself less than six months into his reign at Tottenham, and for the first time since leaving the Premier League Van der Vaart has detailed how his acrimonious exit unfolded.
"It was a little to do with everything," he added.
"It was private things, but also when what's his name [Andre Villas-Boas] came he said to me 'you're not my number one' and I had played two years, like, unbelievable, so for me it was really strange that he said that to me. So then I said, well, it's better to leave and that is what happened.
"It was a stupid decision, the most stupid in my career to leave Tottenham. I absolutely regret it because it was the best two years in my football life.
"When you see that team, when you have [Gareth] Bale, [Luka] Modric, me, [Aaron] Lennon... it was an unbelievable team. I think every game we played we were the better side. We had a lot of possession and a lot of fun with each other.
"And Harry [Redknapp] — he was like your dad. I would give everything for that man; I was really sad when he left. I think the England job would have been the best job for him and also for England."