James Milner completed a club-record £12million move to Aston Villa and revealed he was driven to leave Newcastle because he felt undervalued.
And Milner, who came close to signing for Villa two years ago has revealed he thought Villa boss Martin O'Neill was joking back in 2006 when he said the deal was off, after Newcastle pulled the plug at the last minute.
Recently Milner became frustrated at Newcastle's failure to offer him a new contract which he felt would reflect his worth, and handed in a transfer request last week.
Villa moved swiftly to agree a fee for the England Under-21 winger who has signed a four-year contract which ties him to his new club until the end of the 2011-2012 campaign.
Milner spent the 2005-2006 season on loan to Villa from Newcastle and was about to sign for them in August 2006 before Newcastle halted the transfer.
Milner said: "I nearly signed two years ago. That was a tough time for me and Villa as well. It obviously threw their plans into turmoil.
"You learn from that and you move on and, two years later, I am sure I am a stronger character and a better player for those experiences.
"The fee had been agreed. I came down here to the training ground and got into the manager's office and he said he had a phone call to say Newcastle had changed their mind.
"At first I didn't know if it was the manager's humour and whether he was joking with me but it wasn't a joke."
Milner added: "I enjoyed every minute at Newcastle. It was a fantastic club. I enjoyed working with the manager and they are a great bunch of lads. But I knew offers had come in over the summer and the club had turned them down and the valuation of me wasn't reflected in the deal I was on.
"Speaking to them, I felt it was the right thing to put in a transfer request to show how I felt, seeing as they didn't think they were on the same wavelength as me and they then made the decision to sell me.
"It was Newcastle's decision and now I am at Aston Villa. A new contract was never discussed. That was a source of frustration."
O'Neill has now spent £48million in the transfer market this summer after finally signing Milner.
Milner paid tribute to Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan who wanted to keep hold of the services of the former Leeds player. He said: "He has been fantastic with me all the way through. I had a great relationship with him, learnt a lot and wish him every luck.
"We talked a few times and last night, once the fee had been agreed, he wished me every luck in the world and that is it basically.
"Things change quickly in football. All I know is the offer has been accepted and I'm a Villa player now and the Newcastle chapter is ended."
O'Neill is delighted to have finally managed to sign Milner after the disappointment of two years ago. He said: "James has got a great spirit about him and I definitely think his best years are in front of him.
"It was disappointing two years ago not to sign him when we thought the deal with done and dusted but it is nice to have got it all sorted this time."
O'Neill is still hoping to bring in more new blood before the transfer window closes on Monday. He said: "We are going to try and do something else if we can. The club owner Randy Lerner has been fantastic with his support.
"I've not spent a great deal of money over the last couple of years but we've decided to give things a real go this summer and I am pleased with the players we have got in - plus managing to keep Gareth Barry."