Lucas Digne has taken a parting shot at Rafael Benitez with the French full-back due for a medical at Aston Villa after they agreed a £22 million fee with Everton.
Digne has fallen out with Everton manager Benitez, who confirmed last week that the 28 year-old no longer wanted to play for the club.
However, Digne, signed by Everton from Barcelona in August 2018, said in a post on Instagram on Wednesday evening that he has “loved to be a part of the Everton family”.
The France international added: “Only one year ago I signed a new contract with the ambition of staying in this club for a long time, giving everything for my club, for the development and project, that I believed in – and for the passionate fans.
“My dream was helping the club back where it belongs. Wearing the captain’s armband in some matches always made me proud.
“Everything must come to an end. I just did not expect it to end this way. What has happened and some things that was said about me in the last month has made me very sad. But I will not enter a war on words with anyone.
“The club don’t deserve that, the fans don’t deserve that – and to be honest, I don’t feel that I deserve that. There are so many good and decent people in and around Everton who want the best for this club and not only for themself – and to them I can only say from my heart: I wish you the best!
“Thank you, to all you wonderful, proud and passionate true Evertonians. It has been an honour and a true pleasure to play for you, the fans, the people – because a club do not belong to a player or a manager, but to the fans. I will always carry you with me in my heart wherever I go.
“Sometimes it only takes one person from outside to destroy a beautiful love affair. All the best to @everton and Evertonians.”
Villa are also looking at Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma as a potential solution in their search for a defensive midfielder, with the price potentially as high as £40m.