Manchester United full-back Guillermo Varela has revealed he was blocked from quitting Old Trafford by manager Louis van Gaal.
The Uruguayan full-back approached his manager about an exit due to his belief that he would not get the game time he needed for the rest of the season, but was told he would not be allowed to leave the club.
"Because I saw I wouldn't play, I would have few chances," he told Uruguayan radio station Sport 890.
"I spoke to the manager and he told me that no, I couldn't go, because I was going to play.
"Everything happened so quickly that you don't believe that you're playing in the most important league in the world. I take it calmly, train and look forward."
Varela spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, where he played in the club's Castilla side under current first-team coach Zinedine Zidane.
"Zidane taught us to have respect, solidarity and to work hard," he said.
"We had an excellent year and we learned several things.
"I'm happy for him and his new job at Real Madrid. I feel I improved quickly in the game [under his guidance]."
Since, Varela has gone on to make five appearances for United amid an injury crisis - particularly among the club's full-backs - and has now set his sights on becoming a regular at Old Trafford.
"It's all about continuing to work hard and trying to win the confidence of the coach," he told the club's website.
"Firstly, I love being at Manchester United and I'd love to enjoy a long career here and win everything that comes in our path. Then, looking ahead, [playing for] the [Uruguayan] national team of course."