AC Milan striker Fernando Torres says the arrival of Diego Costa convinced him it was the right time to leave Chelsea, despite the best efforts of Jose Mourinho to keep him.
Torres, 30, signed for Filippo Inzaghi’s side in the summer on a two-year loan, bringing an end to a frustrating three-and-a-half year spell at Stamford Bridge.
Though Milan could not offer Torres the prospect of Champions League football this season, the Spaniard insists that the promise of regular first-team football was the motivation behind his decision.
“I had decided to leave Chelsea,” Torres told Corriere dello Sport. “With Mourinho there was a relationship of respect, but the club had bought a new striker.
“With the coach I had spoken often about my future. He wanted me to stay in London, but I needed a new stimulus for my career.
“That day I received a phone call from Milan. I was presented with the offer I had been waiting for. I was at a particular moment in my career.
“I needed a change and I was aiming to find a team that would guarantee me a starting spot. I had other opportunities, but I chose Milan because they proved that they really wanted me.”