New Birmingham City midfielder Alex Hleb has revealed that he opted to move to St Andrew's despite having offers to sign for Liverpool and Tottenham.
The Belarus international has endured a difficult time since leaving Arsenal for Barcelona and spent last season on loan at Stuttgart.
Explaining his reasons for teaming up with Alex MeLeish's side on a season-long loan, the 29-year-old was quoted in Pressball as saying: "There were many offers - Liverpool, Tottenham, Benfica.
"But it was necessary to carefully consider all the options. With some we were unable to agree terms. Birmingham City apparently wanted me more than anyone else, so they were my preference.
"The decision was prompted by the fact I am well acquainted with the English championship. This is perfect right now, when I need match practice. The Premier League is the most entertaining league on the planet.
"Birmingham are a stable club and the manager, Alex McLeish, is a good professional. They are not Arsenal, who play every year in the Champions League, but for me it is important now to be playing regularly and returning to my previous level.
"To be honest, the last year-and-a-half hasn't been what it should. But the deal with Birmingham is my chance and I must take it."