Andros Townsend has opened up about the reasons behind his Newcastle United departure.
Townsend has completed his £13million move to Crystal Palace after the Eagles activated his buy-out clause.
The 24-year-old has moved to Selhurst Park to link up with Alan Pardew after just 13 games with the Magpies.
Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley insists there was nothing they could do to prevent the England winger leaving the club, but says he hopes there will be no need for release clauses in future as he believes the club will go from strength to strength under Rafa Benitez.
Writing on his official Instagram account (officialtownsend), the England winger said: "I’d like to put on record my sincerest thanks to the manager, board and fans of Newcastle United for the warmth and support they have shown me since I joined in January.
"Please believe me when I say that this has been an incredibly difficult decision and one I have not taken lightly.
"I signed for Newcastle fully aware of the task at hand and it was my absolute desire to keep the club in the Premier League.
"I hope the fans could see that from day one I gave everything I possibly could during the season and never once gave up on the fight for survival. That’s why it was so hard when despite those efforts we fell short.
"The future for Newcastle is very bright, with some great young players and an outstanding manager who I have the utmost respect for.
"However, after talking at length with the manager and managing director I have made the decision to leave the club based purely on footballing reasons, with my wish to remain in the Premier League.
"I remain humbled by the support of the fans during my time at Newcastle and wish everyone associated with the club success for the future.
"The fans deserve a winning team and I fully expect to see the club promoted back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
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Meanwhile, on a very busy day at St James's Park, the club has confirmed the signing of £10million striker Dwight Gayle.
The 25-year-old striker put pen to paper on a five-year deal at St Jame's Park to become Benitez's second signing as Newcastle boss.
And Benitez believes the forward has the attributes to take United back to the top flight after their relegation last season.
He said: "Dwight is a great player, a proven goalscorer, and it is fantastic news that he has joined us.
"He has a big personality, a lot of energy and pace. He is a good finisher also, so he will add goals to our squad, for sure.
"He knows English football well, too, and that is important in the Championship."
And finally, Benitez has warned new signings coming into Newcastle United that they must be able to live up to expectations – as he prepares to add another two new faces to his squad.
QPR centre-half Steven Caulker, Arsenal youngster Isaac Hayden and Blackburn Rovers’ Grant Hanley have all been linked with the club.