Arda Turan says former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde made him feel “insignificant”.
Earlier this month, the 33-year-old Turan ended his largely disappointing five-year spell at Barca by returning to his childhood club, Galatasaray.
Turan was signed by Luis Enrique in 2015, scoring 15 goals in 55 games in his first two seasons, but was frozen out of the team when Valverde took the reins.
After not making a single appearance in the first half of 2017-18, Turan joined Istanbul Basaksehir on loan in the winter transfer window, eventually remaining there for two and a half seasons.
The Turkey international says his decision to finally leave Barca was his own – but he was not always made to feel welcome at Camp Nou.
"Valverde made me feel slighted,” Turan told beIN Sports Turkey.
“He said he was going to play me but he didn't. He said he was going to give me a chance but he didn't.
“Everything was fine when Luis Enrique was there. We had won the league and the cup. Yes, sometimes things didn't go as planned in the Champions League.
“With Valverde, I felt insignificant and decided to leave. No one, including Valverde, has forced me out of Barcelona. I have made the decision to leave.”
Valverde’s unpopular reign as Barca manager came to an end earlier this season, when he was sacked and replaced by Quique Setien.
Turan was still in Turkey at the time, helping loan club Basaksehir to their first-ever Super Lig title this year.
The club, only founded in 1990, has challenged and surpassed the traditional giants of Turkish football in recent seasons and became only the sixth different club in the Super Lig's history to win the title.
However, Turan isn’t sure the project was the right move for him.
"Did I make the right decision by signing for Basaksehir? No disrespect to them, but looking back now, I feel I have made a bad decision with regards to my career."
Turan was rarely out of the headlines while at Basaksehir.
In 2018, he received a record 16-match ban for pushing a linesman, and was fined some €370,000 for his part in a nightclub brawl with a singer later the same year.
In 2019, he was handed a suspended prison sentence of two years and eight months for firing a gun to incite fear and panic, illegal possession of weapons and causing intentional injury.