FORMER England star Andros Townsend admits he’s still “waiting for the phone to ring.”
That’s after breaking down in tears following a failed move to Burnley.
Townsend, 32, is a free agent after leaving Everton last season.
The ex-Spurs, Newcastle and Crystal Palace winger has not played in 18 months after suffering an ACL injury in March 2022.
And he failed to secure a return to the Premier League this summer despite lengthy talks with Burnley.
Townsend, who has 441 career appearances to his name, told BBC Radio 5 he broke down in tears when the Clarets pulled out of a deal to sign him.
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But he understands why Vincent Kompany opted against bringing him to Turf Moor.
Townsend, who has amassed £27million in career earnings and has been training with former club Tottenham’s U18s, said: "It was probably one of the toughest conversations I've had in my career.
"If I was bad and knew I wasn't going to get a contract I could prepare myself. But to be looking at houses, looking at schools, talking about squad numbers and then to be told the contract is no longer on offer, it rocked my world.
"I argued my point, put my case forward. That I offer something different, that I'm comfortable being a squad player and good around the squad even when not playing.
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"But now after watching Burnley's first five games, I understand. With Luca Koleosho and Zeki Amdouni, these young players they have brought in.
"Burnley are a club that like sellable assets, so begrudgingly I understand why he [Kompany] made that decision not to block their pathway by signing a 32-year-old."
Townsend admits he also saw late moves to Turkey and Saudi Arabia fall through.
He added: "I was in Turkey the whole of deadline day. An agent said '100% I've got this deal'. I waited the whole of deadline day and it didn't happen. That's been my month, people giving me false hope.
"A random agent said he had this club in the third division of Saudi Arabia and the president was desperate to sign me. After sleeping on it I got excited about playing football again.
"So I called him the next morning, which was Saudi deadline day, and he said he would set up a meeting. I eventually got told the president was not bringing any players in and the deadline passed."
Townsend fears his career may be held up a while longer because of his ACL setback, but hopes managers may turn to him in the coming weeks as the dust settles on their starts to the season.
He noted: "The situation is I've not played a competitive match for 18 months so because of my age and lack of minutes English clubs can't take that risk.
"I looked abroad and thought clubs would be desperate to sign a player of my experience but it was the same again, lack of minutes.
"The ACL is a very complex injury and when players get it in the latter stages of their career they sometimes never fully recover to their previous selves, so that's the worry.
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"Managers also don't want a player on trial during the season because that sends out a message to the existing players that he doesn't trust them.
“That may change if results don't go their way in the next few weeks. I'm waiting for the phone to ring now."
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