‘I cried when my Prem contract offer was ripped away – then Saudi rejected me’

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    Andros Townsend has opened up about his summer, which was the 'most difficult period of his life', after he was released by Everton.

    Townsend looked set to sign for Burnley, before the Clarets withdrew their contract offer – leaving Townsend without a club. "It was probably one of the toughest conversations I've had in my career," the ex-Everton man told BBC Radio 5's Monday Night Club.

    The winger had a succesful trial, but Burnley withdrew the offer so they didn't block the development of young players. Townsend said: "If I was bad and knew I wasn't going to get a contract I could prepare myself.

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    "But to be looking at houses, looking at schools, talking about squad numbers and then to be told the contract is no longer on offer, it rocked my world.

    "But now after watching Burnley's first five games, I understand. With Luca Koleosho and Zeki Amdouni, these young players they have brought in. Burnley are a club that like sellable assets, so begrudgingly I understand why he made that decision not to block their pathway by signing a 32-year-old."

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    Townsend admitted the experience left him in tears, and the summer would get even worse for Englishman, who was then rejected by a third-tier Saudi side. He said: "A random agent said he had this club in the third division of Saudi Arabia and the president was desperate to sign me.

    "After sleeping on it I got excited about playing football again.

    "So I called him the next morning, which was Saudi deadline day, and he said he would set up a meeting. I eventually got told the president was not bringing any players in and the deadline passed."

    However, as a free agent, Townsend can still be signed by clubs – and he concluded: "I'm waiting for the phone to ring now."

    • Premier League
    • Burnley FC
    • Saudi Pro League

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