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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 11, 2006

Unhappy Ayala eying move to Villarreal

MADRID, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Argentine international centre back Roberto Ayala said he felt cheated by Valencia over a promised contract renewal and hinted that he wanted to join regional rivals Villarreal.

The 33-year-old, whose present deal expires at the end of this season, accused the club's new sporting director Amedeo Carboni and president Juan Bautista Soler of backing out of an agreement to give him a two-year extension.

'I wanted to stay here until the end of my career but that dream had now disappeared because certain people did not keep their word,' he told a news conference in Valencia.

'It hurts that I have been cheated by a club for which I have given everything.

'I was forced to take this decision and I have told both the coach and president that I want to leave.

'I'm a professional, so if I have to finish my contract I will, but I'm not happy at the club.

'I don't feel valued. They haven't given me the chance to finish my career at Valencia and have forced me to listen to other offers.

'There are people some 70 kilometres from here (in Villarreal) who value me more... I want to solve this problem as soon as possible, but my head is no longer at this club and I want to leave.'

Carboni responded by saying he was disappointed at the player's outburst and went on to accuse the Argentine of being a mercenary.

'I profoundly lament these comments that have come at a most inopportune moment,' the Italian told the club's website.

'At the same time the comments have opened our eyes and strengthened our desire to count on players who are truly committed to the club and less interested in cheques.'

The Argentine stopper, who has also attracted interest from Tottenham, denied that money had anything to do with the dispute.

'This is nothing to do with money,' he said. 'I feel well paid here at Valencia but I feel let down and cheated.'

Ayala joined Valencia from AC Milan in 2000 and since then has been the most influential player in the club's back four.

He played a vital role in helping the club reach the Champions League final in 2001, win the Spanish league title in 2002 and win both the league and UEFA Cup in 2004.

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