Cape Town - Adam Lallana has dismissed suggestions that he forced a move from Southampton to join Liverpool in the off-season.
The midfielder completed a £23 million switch to Anfield after protracted negotiations between the two clubs throughout the duration of the 2014 World Cup.
There had been reports that Lallana refused to play for the Saints in order to secure the transfer, something the 26-year-old fervently denies.
The England international feels he had to make the move for the good of his career, but insists the south-coast club will always be in his heart having spent his entire career at St Mary's.
"I didn't say I'd never play for the club again. That's completely false," Lallana told reporters while on international duty.
"Once I knew of Liverpool's interest, I asked the club if they could come to an agreement and that it would be my wish to leave and join Liverpool. I'll make no secret of that. I'm an ambitious person.
"I could have stayed at Southampton until I retired and finished my career there. But at the age I was at, and with the opportunity I had, I couldn't have turned it down. I would have regretted it at the end of my career if I had.
"That leaves people disappointed. Saints fans. But I hope that, in time, they will enjoy the memories we had down there and the successes we had in such a short space of time.
"It was a difficult decision, not an easy one. But it's such an historic club. The manager was a big influence, the way he played his football.
"Champions League football is another level, too. You want to be playing that and testing yourself. It was a combination of those reasons."