Gareth Barry has revealed that Ronald Koeman didn't want to see him leave Everton last month but the midfielder felt it was the right decision for the twilight of his career.
Barry left Goodison Park for West Bromwich Albion towards the end of the transfer window and will break Ryan Giggs' Premier League appearance record when, as expected, he lines up for the Baggies against Arsenal on Monday evening to play his 633rd game.
The 36-year-old was expected to pass that milestone as an Everton player but he was allowed to depart the Blues despite Koeman wanting to keep him around to bolster the numbers in midfield.
“He wasn't happy with me,” Barry said of Koeman. “He wanted me to stay around and felt I was going to get enough game time, which I possibly might have done with European football and the cups.”
“But for me running out on a Saturday afternoon in the Premier League is what I've always enjoyed doing and I just didn't feel I was going to be close enough to the action at Everton.
“It might be harder at West Brom but I didn't want to slowly go down that road of fizzling out. I could have still achieved this record and would have still got enough appearances at Everton, they even offered me another year but that wasn't the reason. I wanted one last challenge.”
Signed from Manchester City by Roberto Martinez in 2013, Barry made 155 appearances in all competitions for the Toffees and will go down as one of the Catalan's most successful acquisitions.