Serge Aurier has suggested that money played a central role in him swapping Paris Saint-Germain for Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the summer transfer window. The controversial Ivory Coast international only completed his move to north London in the dying embers of the window due to a hold up in being awarded a work permit, but is now intent on re-inventing his form from Ligue 1 in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old was forced to wait until the final day of trading in England to secure his move to Spurs after sweating out the outcome of an appeal into a conviction for assaulting a police officer. The full-back had previously been barred from entering the United Kingdom due to the offence but a successful appeal saw the Home Office grant him permission to play in England.
Less than 24 hours after Aurier's conviction was quashed, Tottenham confirmed his arrival on what was a busy deadline day. The defender has now revealed he turned down a new contract from PSG – who were keen to offload players in the wake of Neymar's €222m arrival from Barcelona – after feeling he was undervalued by the French giants.
"I am morally liberated," he told the CAF website. "I left the PSG who had offered me a new three-year contract for another adventure. I refused for various reasons. I want to discover another life because in Paris, I was not respected at my true value. We dwelt on many details, we thought more about something else than the footballer.
"In terms of statistics, of all defenders of the French Ligue 1 championship, from 2013 until today, I am the most decisive. I also won nine titles with the PSG. It is to say that there are more significant things in my career, but they preferred to dwell on what happened outside the stadiums. At the club, I got along well with everyone: leaders, players, coaches and supporters. As proof, the club still held on to me, but I had to think of myself. It's a personal decision.
"Tottenham is an ambitious club that enjoys a good game and often ends up among the best of the English championship. I always dreamed of playing in England and I knew how to seize the chance that offered itself to me. I am 24 years old and have several years of football still on the pitch. I now have to fight, progress and live great moments with my new club."
Of Tottenham's five summer signings, three of them arrived in the final 48 hours of the window. Davinson Sanchez and Paulo Gazzaniga were both signed with a week to go, before Juan Foyth, Aurier and Spaniard Fernando Llorente all joined as the market prepared to close.
Mauricio Pochettino had previously experienced a frustrating window with no new players arriving for the start of the campaign. Meanwhile, Kyle Walker moved to Manchester City and several big-name players threatened to follow as frustrations over the club's rigid wage structure began to surface.
Danny Rose spoke of unrest and a desire to be properly rewarded by the Tottenham hierarchy and the same episode threatened to play out with Eric Dier, who was blocked from joining Manchester United for £50m.