David Villa says he would not have signed for Barcelona if Valencia had not needed the money from his sale.
Villa, 35, joined Barca for 40 million in 2010 after five successful years and 129 goals at the Mestalla.
However, the former Spain international, who now plays for New York City FC, has said he would have been happy to stay at Valencia if the decision was solely his.
"If Valencia hadn't needed the money, I would have stayed at the club," he told reporters. "I had a long-term contract."
Villa's first season at Barcelona brought the Champions League, but he suffered a serious injury in his second campaign and eventually opted to move to Atletico Madrid after helping the Blaugrana win the La Liga title in his third season.
"I decided to leave Barcelona to have a more important role at another club." he said. "I was playing less and less and the new players that were coming in were better than me."
Villa has been linked with a short-term move back to Spain in the Major League Soccer off-season, with former clubs Valencia and Sporting Gijon touted as possible destinations.
According to the player himself, though, there is no foundation in the rumours and his future remains in the United States.
He said: "I like to live in reality, not in a fantasy, and the reality is that I have another year on my contract with New York City. On Jan. 23 I will be back in for preseason come what may."