Fulham defender Cyrus Christie told Counter Attack podcast how former Derby County manager Paul Clement stopped him from joining a Champions League club.
The Rams signed Christie from Coventry in 2014. He made a total of 119 appearances over a three-year spell at Pride Park, later joining Middlesbrough.
Christie was first-choice under Steve McClaren. However, the arrival of Paul Clement saw him lose his spot with the versatile Chris Baird replacing him at right-back.
Speaking to Counter Attack podcast, Christie wanted to leave Derby for a Champions League club. Clement, however, wasn’t willing to facilitate a deal.
He (Paul Clement) just came in and wasn’t having me at all – out of nowhere. I had somewhere lined up to go and he said: ‘No, you can’t go there. It’s abroad’. I said: ‘What’s the issue with going abroad? They play in the Champions League. You’ve got to let me go. It’s a good opportunity’. But he said: ‘I don’t want you to go there. Let’s sit down and discuss some teams that you can go to.’
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Christie ultimately remained at Derby and won his place back in the side.
The Rams reached the playoffs in the 2015-16 campaign. However, a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Hull City in the semi-finals saw them again miss out on the Premier League.
Christie went on to join Middlesbrough in the summer of 2017. But, after just six months, Fulham paid £4 million to take him to Craven Cottage.
The 27-year-old has largely been a squad player for the Whites. He has just eight Championship starts this season, with another eight appearances off the bench.
Derby host Fulham on Friday and it will be the first time Christie returns to Pride Park as an opposing player since departing the East Midlands club.