'Rocked my world': Ex-Crystal Palace & Everton man left in tears after failed summer Burnley move
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The 32-year-old was offered a contract after a successful trial, which saw the winger feature in a number of pre-season friendlies.
But before the contract was about to be signed, Vincent Kompany informed Townsend the deal would no longer be going ahead.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5's Monday Night Club, Townsend said: “To get offered a contract and to get to the day where you’re signing the contract and just waiting for the paperwork to come through, only to be told that contract is being ripped away from you…honestly, I left that conversation in tears. I felt like my Premier League dream was over.
“I’m smiling about it now, but it was one of the toughest moments of my career.
“I knew that pre-season was my one chance. I knew that not many clubs were going to sign me without seeing me, so I knew I’d have to go in there and prove myself.
“I chose Burnley, did very well and when that was taken away from me…if I was bad and I knew I wasn’t going to get a contract, I could have prepared for it. But to be looking at houses, to be looking at schools, to be talking about squad numbers only to be told the contract is no longer on offer, it literally rocked my world.
“The toughest part for me at the moment is the fact I’ve got two young kids and the fact I’ve taken my daughter out of school in Liverpool. I’ve told her she’s going to school in Burnley.
“That didn’t happen and I told her ‘yeah, we’re back in London. I’m going to put you in a school but I don’t know how long I’m going to be in London’, so for the kids it’s tough.”
Townsend, who has been training with Tottenham’s Under-18s since leaving Burnley, also saw summer moves to Turkey and Saudi Arabia fall by the wayside.
“We initially made sure that we had terms agreed with Andros and we did offer him a deal,” he said.
“But it was pending on a couple of things, mainly where the recruitment was going for us and the recovery of some of the players that we had that were injured in pre-season, so it was quite transparent in that sense.
“But he’s been brilliant, he’s been fit, working hard, he’s been good for our dressing room, but in terms of what we already had in the building and the players we wanted to bring in, it just didn’t make sense for us to complete.
“But my advice is to any manager that is still looking for a winger to approach him. He’s shown very good signs for us in pre-season.”