"Once I had spoken to (City manager) Mark Hughes there was nowhere else I wanted to go. I was also desperate to avoid any long, drawn-out saga.>>Gareth Barry.
"I feel I am joining a club that will seriously challenge to win major honours. People might doubt that but I am convinced, with the plans the club has short term and long term and the backing the manager will receive from the owners, that we will be a major force.
"I have honestly been very undecided what to do, the (Villa) manager (Martin O'Neill) and the whole club have bent over backwards to try and persuade me to stay and made me a fantastic offer, which I am extremely grateful for."
The signing gets the backing of Richard Dunne (who could see his place threatened should this mean a move to defence for Vincent Kompany), who said:
"I heard he was in talks with the club, he is a really good player and a player the Aston Villa fans will really miss, " said the Republic of Ireland defender.
"It shows the pulling power of the club. It's the sort of signing the manager is looking for - players with Premier League experience who can push the squad on."