Fernando Torres has revealed his plans to leave Atletico Madrid when his contract expires at the end of the season to seek more game time.
The Spaniard is in his second spell at the club he left in 2007 to sign for Liverpool, and also had stints at Chelsea and Milan before returning to Spain in 2015.
Torres, 34, has only made three starts in La Liga this season and made 17 appearances from the bench, scoring two goals.
“I want to take advantage of this opportunity to say this will be my last season at the club,” Torres said at a promotional event. “It has not been an easy decision. Looking at the reality, the circumstances, perhaps it’s for the best. I accept that I’m not having much of a role, so perhaps this is the moment to step aside for others.”
“It’s difficult to say goodbye for a second time because I wanted to retire here but things don’t always go as you want. I feel physically and mentally able to keep playing. I am in good shape and I will look elsewhere for games.”
“I still feel I can play, and want to keep playing,” he added. “I have not listened to any offers [from other clubs] yet, but I will now. We will sit down and look at what we have, before making a decision when the time comes.”
Atletico will honour Torres at their last home game of the season against Eibar on 20 May and will make it an “unforgettable” occasion.
“Fernando is a legend of our club,” said Atletico president Enrique Cerezo. “The doors of Atletico de Madrid will always be open for him.”
“We have always said that he would have the decision about his future because this is his home and if he has decided to continue his professional career from the next season in another place, I can only thank him for everything he has given us, which is a lot.”