Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has given more detail about his claims that the media in Britain is forcing him to consider a move out of Anfield.
Suarez, 26, said on Wednesday he was ready to quit English football, blaming the criticism he has attracted in some sections of the media. He has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, and on Thursday said he was interested in "a change of environment".
Speaking prior to Uruguay's friendly against France, he said his reason for wanting to leave was “not the money – if it were the money I would have left already” but “my family and my image”.
“It’s a difficult moment for me,” the striker - who is serving a ten-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic - told a press conference in Uruguay: “The coach [Brendan Rodgers] and my colleagues know that they [the media] didn’t treat me well here.
“I don’t feel comfortable here anymore. They [his colleagues] know it, so I think it’s understandable that I leave.”
He added: "My reason for leaving is not the money. If it were the money I would have left already. My main reason is my family and my image.
The striker claimed “persecution” by the paparazzi had also played a part in his conclusion that he wanted to leave.
“I couldn't go to my garden or the supermarket,” he said. “I couldn't do anything. I know is normal being followed by the press, but it was too much.”
He said the media had said “silly things” about him and spoke of “all the pictures, all the taunts”, adding: "That happened every day and nobody [in the media] supported me. They talk about me being the named as the best player in England, but I knew that wasn't going to happen.
"I knew it because of the way they treated me. And the straw that broke the camel’s back was my mistake. I accept my blame, but they went too far."
Liverpool have insisted the player is not for sale, with a club statement saying they expected him to honour his contract.
Suarez’ former club Nacional would be due a percentage of money made from any transfer, and the cash-strapped club’s president, Jose Fuentes, said: "I hope it is finalised, for Luis, who is a great player, and who deserves it. If the money comes, it would be welcome. But we must not get our hopes up too much."