French defender Sylvain Distin has joined Portsmouth on a three-year contract after leaving Manchester City at the end of his contract.
Distin spent five years at Manchester City
The 29-year-old, who was City captain and missed just one Premiership game last season, joined them from Paris St Germain for £4m in 2002.
"It was a tough decision but I am happy to stick by it," he said.
"When you're on a free transfer you are going to get a lot of offers but this is the one I wanted to take."
Pompey manager Harry Redknapp had been linked with Distin a year ago when he was still under contract, so was delighted to see off reported late interest from Liverpool to get his man.
I will try to sign another defender very soon because you have to have competition for places and a big squad
"I've been down that road a few times before and to be honest I panicked when I heard about it," he said.
"But thankfully we struck an agreement with Sylvain and I am really pleased we've got him.
"Last year when we showed an interest in him his price was £5m so to get him for free has got to be great business for the club."
He also denied Sol Campbell's place at the club may be under threat to make way for Distin.
"There is no way. Sol is still absolutely key for us. He has still a year to go on his contract and he's not going anywhere," he said.
"I will try, in fact, to sign another defender very soon because you have to have competition for places and a big squad.
"The Premiership is going to be tougher than ever next season and if you stand still you end up going backwards."