In a heartfelt statement on his official Twitter account, the 24-year old hitman admits that some people will not understand his decision to swap the La Liga champions for their Premier League counterparts but insists that he gave it no small amount of consideration.

“Today is a special day, different,” the statement reads. “There are many things I would like to say now, there are many feelings, many memories that now gather in my head.

“Today my second spell at Real Madrid finishes, today a new phase of my career begins. I’m sure that some will not understand my decision, others will certainly not support it… but in the end that’s what it is, my decision. A decision well thought through and considered.”

The Spain international pointed out how proud he was to have played a part in Los Blancos’ remarkable 2016/17 campaign – a season that saw them lift both the La Liga and Champions League trophies.

“I’m leaving home, because that’s how I feel at Real Madrid. I’m going with the clear conscience of someone who gave everything in every training session, in every minute in which I was lucky enough to wear the shirt, with the calm of having been important in an amazing year in which we lifted four trophies, a year that I’m sure neither you nor I will ever forget.

“Thank you also to the coaching staff for everything they have helped me and supported me with, I am a better player than a year ago and it’s thanks to them. Thank you also to my team-mates, with whom I shared an amazing season. Thank you to each and every one of the employees of the club who worked hard every day to make life easier for the players.

“And thank you, of course, to the fans, because since my return you have made me feel loved and valued, because you’ve always been there, from my presentation until the last night at Cibeles… Lastly, and most importantly, thank you to my wife, thank you to my family, to my agent and my friends, who are always there and never let you down.”

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