Barry concluded negotiations with City over a £12million move from Aston Villa during an England World Cup double-header at the end of last season.
Having been denied a "dream" move to Liverpool 12 months earlier, Barry was in no mood to hang around again. And, while City could not immediately offer the Champions League combat the 28-year-old was so desperate for, the switch offered a promise of far more than Villa could.
And, for Hughes, the spin-off was a significant statement of intent, which proved the prelude to a flurry of transfer activity aimed at propelling the Eastlands outfit into the top four.
"Gareth was always a player I had admired from afar," recounted Hughes. "He has a huge range of passing and is able to be constructive and destructive in midfield.
"When you also take into account the amount of quality games he is able to produce over a long period of time, I just felt he was a player we needed to bring to the club. To a certain extent it helped other players to come as well."