Emmanuel Adebayor has said he bears no grudge against Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and described his relationship with him as “beautiful.”
Adebayor, now at Crystal Palace, was released by Spurs in September after being frozen out by Pochettino, who stripped the Togo forward of his squad number and sent him to train with the club’s under-21s.
The striker was named Spurs vice-captain in September 2014 but was dropped following a defeat to Stoke in mid-November and did not start another league game.
Adebayor, 32, returns to his former club — who are still paying a percentage of his wages — in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.
And he told The Sun: “Our relationship was beautiful. I think we have a very good relationship, man to man. We always talked and he told me: ‘Manny I don’t count on you any more,’ which I understand.
“I realised my time was over at Tottenham and that I had to move on.”
However, Adebayor was less positive about his relationship with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, saying: “Obviously with the club itself I didn’t have a good relationship and with the chairman because — and you know Daniel Levy better than I do — he makes everything complicated.
“But at the end of the day I know where I am from and when you want something you have to stand strong for it. And I stand strong for what I think is my decision.
“Obviously people will judge you, but at the end of the day I know what I have been through in my life and I know what I have to stand for. So I stand for it.”
Adebayor is likely to get a mixed reception from Spurs fans on Sunday, but said: “Tottenham are happy — they are playing quite well. I am happy — I am playing for Crystal Palace.
“We both move on as a club and as a player but I cannot say I am the winner. There is no winner in this battle.”