Despite the fact Kevin Phillips is about to turn 35, there was no shortage of clubs vying for his services, and it is not hard to see why.
The former England international has a prolific record. He has scored 235 goals in nearly 450 appearances for Watford, Sunderland, Southampton, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion.
Therefore, it is easy to understand the disappointment of Albion manager Tony Mowbray and Barnsley boss Simon Davey, who both hoped to have Phillips wearing their club’s colours during the coming campaign.
Albion had offered Phillips a one-year contract extension with the option of a second year, while FA Cup semi-finalists Barnsley were in talks with Phillips about a lucrative two-year deal.
Phillips rejected both offers in favour of the security of Birmingham’s two-year deal and to keep his family in the Midlands.
Mowbray said he was disappointed to be losing last season’s top scorer. Mowbray said: “We made Kevin a very substantial financial offer for the next two years but in my opinion the second year had to be earned.
“Kevin’s advisors were adamant they wanted a straight two-year contract and, as that was the sticking point, I have no problem with the outcome.
“I am happy that as a club we made a fair and realistic offer to Kevin and I’m obviously disappointed he has chosen not to accept it. But I’ve had a couple of very amicable conversations with Kevin in the past two days.
“Now that he has made his decision, I would like to thank him for his goals and contribution over the past two seasons. He is a top professional and has been a pleasure to work with. We all wish him well.”