Jonjo Shelvey has revealed Newcastle United initially blocked his move to Premier League rivals Nottingham Forest.
The former Swansea City and Liverpool star officially brought an end to his seven-year stay on Tyneside last month after he completed a deadline day switch to the City Ground.
The deal caught many by surprise after United manager Eddie Howe had spoken about the importance of Shelvey within his squad - but the midfielder has confirmed he asked to make the move in the final days of the window as he looked for ‘a fresh start’ with just six months of his current deal remaining.
He told Sky Sports News: “I heard of Forest’s interest and it was something that took to my eye.
“I went in to see the manager at Newcastle and asked if they would let me go. I got a no at first because I think he wanted to to keep me around, to keep me around the training ground and stuff like that.
“It was something I needed, I needed a fresh start, a new challenge, and I am just lucky that I have found a club like Nottingham Forest that was willing to come in and take me.
“I just think it’s a club on the the up. It’s something that really excites me and I knew a few of the players already and I knew a few of the coaching staff.”
Shelvey could face his former club next month when the Magpies visit the City Ground for a Friday night fixture. By that time, Howe’s side could have claimed United’s first piece of domestic silverware since 1955 and strengthened their bid to secure a first return to the Champions League since the days of Sir Bobby Robson, Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy.
Assessing the Magpies current state following his departure, Shelvey believes his old club ‘is in a big moment’ as they look for success on two fronts during the remainder of the season.
“I will never ever say a bad word about Newcastle about the people there or the people around the city. The club is in a big moment, they’re in a great position in the league, which wasn’t to be expected so early on.
“They’re in a cup final, so it as hard to walk away in terms of what they can achieve this year and the future but it was a decision I had to make personally for my family and for myself, wanting to play football again. It’s one I won’t regret, I am relishing being here and playing in front of these fans.”