Barcelona midfielder Gabri claims he pulled out of a move to West Ham because the Barclays Premiership side were not prepared to offer him a long enough contract.
The 26-year-old utility player reportedly travelled to London to finalise the move after the Catalan side agreed not to stand in his way.
But the transfer did not materialise, and Gabri admits leaving the Nou Camp would have been an “impulsive decision”.
“A series of factors led me to think things over,” said the player, who would have filled the right-back slot following Tomas Repka’s departure from West Ham.
“I spoke about it with my family and with the people closest to me and I assessed the situation. I’ve decided to stay and I’ve got my head centred on this team.
“West Ham United weren’t offering me the length of contract that could have given me the security I was looking for.
“I was looking to play more – and although that will be difficult here, I want to fight right to the end,” he told his club’s website, fcbarcelona.com. "
When I looked at the people who love me and who were advising me they all agreed that I shouldn’t go. Sometimes players take impulsive decisions without thinking about them too much. I was looking to play more after a year-and-a-half of injuries.
Gabri, full name Gabriel Garcia De la Torre, has rarely played for Barca because of persistent injury problems over the last 18 months but is back to full fitness now.
The Catalan player, who turns 27 on February 10, now plans to earn an extension to his contract with the Spanish champions which expires in June.
“We have talked about my future and we’ve begun to talk about a new contract. First I’ll listen to Barca’s offer. For me Barca is the priority, my first option.”