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Luis Enrique: Copa lead key

Barcelona
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By ESPN Staff

Banega "never wanted to leave" Valencia

Valencia midfielder Ever Banega has vowed to knuckle down at the Mestalla after rejecting a move away from the club.

The 21-year-old Argentinian had seemed set to make the switch to Everton last week only for the move to break down with Valencia reluctant to loan him out. And Banega, whose off-the-field indiscretions have overshadowed much of his fledgling career so far, insists he is ready to make a go of things in La Liga.

The midfielder, who produced an impressive performance in Sunday's opening-weekend win over Sevilla, told Spanish newspaper AS: "My life has changed. Personally I am comfortable, my friends and my girlfriend help me avoid the mistakes I made when I first arrived. Now I am more settled.

"I want to work and do things right, continue the good start to the season with humility."

While Banega claims to know nothing of Everton's receipt of a work permit for him last week, he did reveal a move to Stuttgart had been a possibility.

"I talked to Unai (Emery, Valencia manager) and discussed the offer but I never wanted to leave," he said. "He said it was a good deal for the club but left it up to me to decide. However, I didn't want to go because I think I have a place in this squad."

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