Gareth Barry admits he had been starting to “fear the worst” before his season-long loan switch from Manchester City to Everton was completed late on transfer deadline day.
It was not until after the summer window had closed at 11pm on Monday that the Toffees confirmed the deal for the 32-year-old midfielder.
And asked at a press conference on Tuesday if he had been worried the move would not go through, Barry said: "Yes.
"I think when you get into that last hour and there are still a few snags between the two clubs, with not everything sorted yet, you do fear the worst and start thinking you might be going into training with Manchester City.
"But I'm grateful it all went through."
Barry's contract with City, who he joined from Aston Villa in 2009, comes to an end next summer and he had been told by the Etihad Stadium outfit that he could not be guaranteed first-team football in the 2013-14 campaign.
He said: "It was important for me to make that decision - whether I was happy to see out my last year at Manchester City and not really feature at all.
"That was never something I was going to be comfortable with I think.
"I have been lucky enough to play regularly throughout my career.
"So I want to try to establish myself in the first team here, get a regular spot in the team and try to get a consistent run of games and good form together.
"Virtually straight away at the end of the season and at the start of pre-season it was made clear that I wasn't going to be guaranteed regular first-team football (at City).
"Being 32 in a big squad with a lot of players, I could have dealt with that.
"But as pre-season went on and then the first games came, it was pretty clear that I wasn't going to feature in squads and that I was going to have to wait for a couple of injuries.
"So that's when I started thinking it could be time to start looking elsewhere for regular football."