New Valencia coach Rino Gattuso has spoken of his relationship with agent Jorge Mendes.
It was Mendes who helped place Gattuso at Valencia after the sacking of Jose Bordalas.
“I started my coaching career eight years ago and I have never signed a Jorge Mendes player," insisted Gattuso.
“I've been in football for 27 years. I have incredible respect for Mendes, he is a great football man and a friend, but at Milan and Napoli, I never did deals for his players.
“If being friends with Jorge Mendes and respecting him is a problem, then perhaps the problem is yours, not mine. He wasn't even the first person I called when I heard about Valencia's interest.
“Having said that, if he has players who are functional and can help me and Valencia, then we can negotiate. We need strong players."
Although the contract was signed on Wednesday night, Gattuso sealed the deal when meeting with patron Peter Lim and Mendes in Singapore.
“I left Milan on May 29 to go to Singapore with Anil Murthy, then the day after this news emerged that he had resigned. I did not travel with Jorge Mendes, I met him there the day after.
“I spoke to Lim for two days about all sorts of things, he knows it is a problem if Soler, Guedes and Gaya were to leave and the solutions we'd need to find to replace them. We need five or six reinforcements on the transfer market."
Gattuso famously broke with Fiorentina just two weeks into pre-season last year and said: “That was my choice, because I didn't have the right hunger. I spoke to seven or eight teams before Valencia, but I am here because I know it is a big club.
“I was one of the first Italian players to go and play in Britain in 17 years, I accepted difficult challenges as a World Cup winning player, working at FC Sion or Crete. Valencia are at the same level as Napoli and Milan, great clubs who struggled a little recently."