Gareth Barry has apologised to the Aston Villa fans after agreeing a £12m move to Manchester City, worth an estimated £100,000-a-week.
Barry has written an open letter to the Villa supporters pleading for forgiveness for leaving the club after 12 years.
Villa supporters are unhappy that Barry chose to sign for mid-table City just 12 months after claiming he wanted to join Liverpool to play Champions League football.
Barry, who will earn £100,000 a week in a five-year contract at City, has been branded a mercenary, but the midfielder denies that he moved just for the money.
”Once I had spoken to Mark Hughes there was nowhere else I wanted to go. I was also desperate to avoid any long drawn-out saga,” he said.
”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.”
Before the letter’s publication, the England midfielder said he joined City because their ambition matched his own.
“I’m delighted to be joining City. It didn’t take much persuasion from Mark Hughes, they are heading in the direction I want to go,” he told City’s website.
“There is great potential here, and I’m sure there will be a few more additions to the squad this summer.”
City manager Mark Hughes is also keen to complete some more early summer transfer business following Barry’s arrival.
Hughes said: “I was looking to get a number of deals done as soon as possible and we have had a great start with Gareth joining us.
“I hope we can conclude some more so that when we come back for pre-season training we have everybody fit and well and set for a successful campaign.”