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Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 15:34 UK

Villa form prompted exit - Barry

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Barry reveals City motivation

Gareth Barry has admitted he would have stayed at Aston Villa if they had qualified for the Champions League.

The 28-year-old England midfielder ended 12 years with the Villans when he joined Manchester City on 2 June.

He told BBC Sport: "I said I would have stayed when we were flying in the league and I'd have stayed to my word.

"Champions League football is big for myself and playing with Aston Villa would have meant more than doing it anywhere else but it wasn't to be."

Barry has gone to Manchester City to try to turn them from a mid-table club into title contenders.

And, at his official unveiling at Eastlands, the £12m signing said: "This club has everything in place to achieve big things and challenge at the top.

"You have seen the type of players Manchester City are able to attract, like Robinho."

Barry, who said that he had turned "stale" at Villa Park, claims it was City's ambition which persuaded him to move to Eastlands.

"The club put a price on me and Manchester City have come in and paid the money.

"I spoke to the manager. He was complimentary of me in a central midfield role and that's important thinking for next season and the World Cup.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener

"Hopefully I can finish a good season here at Man City and there can be good times ahead with England too.

"I spent a bit of time thinking, spoke to friends and am confident I have made the right decision.

"I'm really looking to try and be a part of turning Manchester City, a mid-table team now, into a team challenging for big honours.

"That would be a big thing for me if I can be a part of it and turn it around."

Hughes explained why he had been so keen to make the 30-times capped England utility man his first signing of the summer.

"First and foremost we're getting a player of great Premier League experience," said Hughes. "He's a player I've admired from afar for quite some time, for many years.

"The opportunity to bring a player of Gareth's quality to the club was one we couldn't afford to let pass."

After the on/off transfer saga of his proposed move to Liverpool dragged on the whole of last summer, City moved with impressive speed to capture Barry's signature.

"The fact we moved so quickly took a few people unawares," said Hughes. "But I think that was one of the keys to being able to show our intent and our commitment to Gareth.

"He's very much part of where we see the club and the team going in the future. He's got a big role to play.

"He put some fantastic work and service into his game when he was at Villa so he shouldn't look back on that time and have any regrets about what he was able to produce for Villa.

"Now this is an opportunity and a different stage in his career, an opportunity we hope and fully expect to be a successful club in the near future and I think that's the key to the reason Gareth wanted to come and join us."



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