Peter Luccin has revealed he rejected a move to Birmingham City because he wanted to play for an 'ambitious' club and in European competition.
The 28-year-old Frenchman who jilted Steve Bruce to such an extent that the Blues boss almost had his fingers trapped when the transfer window slammed shut last week, instead chose at the last minute, to join Real Zaragoza from Atletico Madrid.
That left Bruce cursing the fact that he had missed out on another player (following Mathieu Flamini and Hossam Ghaly, Luccin became the third central midfielder to have escaped in the space of a few months) and with little time to identify an alternative.
In the end, he was able to turn to Borja Oubina on a season-long loan from Celta Vigo but the whole saga left something of a sour taste in Bruce's mouth.
"We were very disappointed with what happened with Peter Luccin," Bruce said. "On Wednesday and up until the Thursday night at 6.30pm, we thought it was a done deal.
"Then it all went quiet, we were led up the garden path a little bit with it, so that left us with not much time."
However, Luccin is unrepentant about his decision and virtually added insult to injury when he explained his reasoning: "I wanted to bounce back with an ambitious club, I am very happy," Luccin said.
"We will play in the Uefa Cup and we will aim to finish as high as possible in the league and why not even consider a shot at the title? I chose to come here because the offer was more appealing than Atletico or even Birmingham."
Bruce claims he is happy with Oubina, who came with minutes to spare before the deadline, after it looked as though the Spaniard would join Benfica, in a deal that may be made permanent at the end of the season.
"Very early in the week, it looked odds-on that he was going to Benfica," said Bruce. "That didn't happen and we jumped on the back of it. Oubina captained his club last season and he played 30-odd times."