Esteban Cambiasso says he is still struggling to come to terms with his departure from Inter Milan as he moves closer to joining Leicester City.
The 34-year-old, part of Inter's treble-winning side in 2010, was not offered a new contract by the Nerazzurri this summer. The Serie A club are looking to reduce the average age of their squad and start a new cycle under new president Erick Thohir, but the Argentine admits he still did not expect to be shown the door.
"It still hasn't really sunk in," he told Sky Sport Italia. "I still feel I'm among the fans, I still feel their warmth when I walk down the street and that's why I never wrote a thank you letter because I still feel I'm with them."
Cambiasso spent 10 years at the San Siro, winning five Serie A titles and the Coppa Italia four times, in addition to the Champions League and Club World Cup in 2010. Given his service, he feels he should have received better treatment in his final days.
"I would have deserved to know that my contract was not being renewed maybe three or four months in advance, at least to give me some time to think about it," he said. "It wasn't nice finding out the day before the Chievo game [Inter's last game of the season]. It would have been nicer if they'd told me maybe a week earlier, considering I'd spent 10 years with Inter."
Cambiasso believes that would have become 11 years had there not been the change in club ownership last year. Had Massimo Moratti still been club president, he believes he "probably" would have been offered an extension, if only for the bond the pair had created.
Those years are now behind him, though, and Cambiasso has already decided he will leave Italy. "I don't think I could ever give another Italian club what I gave to Inter," he said. "I'll see this week where I'm going to go, where I can be happy with my family. But wherever I do go, I've decided I only want a one-year contract."
Cambiasso is set to move to the Premier League with Leicester manager Nigel Pearson saying he is optimistic about reaching an agreement. "There has been a bit more encouragement in terms of the Cambiasso situation," he told BBC Radio Leicester. "I'm more hopeful now than I was before the weekend."