Iago Aspas eyes Liverpool exit for permanent Sevilla move in €7m deal
Iago Aspas has no intention of returning to Liverpool this summer and plans to make his loan move to Sevilla permanent this summer, the forward has told ESPN FC.
Aspas joined Liverpool in summer 2013 for £7.7 million (€9 million) from Celta Vigo, but he made just made six starts in all competitions during the 2013-14 campaign -- and scored just one goal in an FA Cup third-round win over Oldham.
The Galician forward then joined Sevilla last summer on a loan deal which at the time was reported as including an option for the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan club to make the deal permanent at the end of the first year -- for a fee of €7 million.
The 27-year-old said in an interview with ESPN FC that it was "an open secret" that Sevilla actually must make the deal permanent by paying €7 million this summer and he was happy with that situation.
"I came here on a loan deal with an obligatory option to buy," Aspas said. "I am a Sevilla player for next season. I will sit down and talk to the club in the coming days, or when the season ends. But, well, it is an open secret that everyone knew. The transfer [fee] is to be paid this summer. I am very happy at Sevilla, they received me with open arms, and I hope to keep paying them back for many years."
Aspas said he had nothing against Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers despite feeling he had not been given a chance to really show Reds fans what he was capable of.
"Since I left Liverpool I have not spoken with [Rodgers] again," he said. "But the time I was at Liverpool, he behaved very well towards me. I did not have the playing time that I wanted. Which is why I made the move here to Sevilla.
"At the moment [a return to Liverpool] is difficult, as I say, I am going to stay here for some years at Sevilla. But I do have unfinished business as I felt I could bring much more things to the team, if I had been given more playing time.
"It is true there was a lot of competition for places, with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, and playing for the league title. It was one of the best years of Liverpool in recent times and it was difficult to get playing time, for sure."
Given Sturridge's injury problems during the current campaign, Aspas said he might have played more this term had he remained at Anfield another year.
"It was difficult [to get to know Sturridge] due to the language, but he is a great player," he said. "It is a pity that this year he has had a lot of injuries. I think that if I'd been at Liverpool this year I would have played a lot more games, with Sturridge's injury, and Suarez not being there. I might have got the playing time I did not get last year."
Aspas said Suarez had been a great help during their time together at Liverpool, and he was not surprised the Uruguay international has been such a success at Barcelona this year.
"[Suarez] is a great teammate, especially for me, he was a great support at the start," he said. "For the language, as I did not know much English when I arrived. On the pitch, we all know the great player he is, I was proud to play with him. I am not at all surprised how things are going for him at Barcelona. Training with him day to day, I saw the player he was."
Despite not wanting to return, Aspas said he had kept a close eye on Liverpool's 2014-15 season, and had been disappointed at their European competition exits.
"I watch nearly all the Liverpool games here on TV," he said. "It was a pity, above all, in the Champions League when they were eliminated very quickly in the group stages. They had a difficult group with Real Madrid, but they also had Basil and Ludogorets who we thought might be easier. Then there was also the pity of getting knocked out on penalties against Besiktas [in the Europa League]."
Sevilla's European season has gone much better, with Unai Emery's side one step away from the Europa League final after last week's 3-0 semifinal first-leg win at home to Fiorentina.
Injury and competition for places with international strikers Carlos Bacca and Kevin Gameiro have meant Aspas has not featured too regularly, but he points out his record when selected -- 10 goals in less than 900 minutes total playing time -- is not bad.
"The team's season has been very good," he said. "We are almost into the final of the Europa League in Warsaw, and fighting for fourth place in La Liga. I think it is a good season. On an individual level, when things were going best for me, I was starting games, I had an injury and was out for a month.
"It is difficult, as the coach has played almost the whole season with just one forward. Bacca and Gameiro have scored a lot of goals. I have too in the small bit of time I have got to play. But it is difficult. I have done well, but my teammates too."