Andy Carroll today claimed he was asked to hand in a transfer request as Liverpool closed in on their £35m swoop for him.
Carroll told the Evening Chronicle that he had been in talks over a new and improved contract at St James' Park when it became clear he was no longer wanted on Tyneside.
He said: "(Managing director) Derek (Llambias) asked me to hand in a transfer request, so I was pushed into a corner and had no choice. I wasn't wanted by them and they made it clear they wanted the money."
However, manager Alan Pardew has insisted Carroll decided to leave after asking for a new deal, which was not forthcoming.
Pardew told the Shields Gazette: "We didn't force anybody to leave.
"I disagree with that point. He had a contract here for five years, and at some point it would get renewed, but for him to sign in October and it get renewed in January - where would it stop?
"Personally, I'm disappointed. He's a lovely lad, and I really like him, but it was his decision, and you can't change that.
"Was this about football? That's what you have to ask. I don't think it was."