Cape Town - Everton midfielder Gareth Barry has admitted he gave serious consideration to making a move away from England during the off-season.
Barry, 33, was a free agent after seeing out the final year of his Manchester City contract and had several offers on the table from clubs across the globe.
However, having spent the 2013/14 season on loan at Everton, Barry opted to return to Goodison Park ahead of the new campaign.
Reflecting on the series of events which ultimately lead to him signing for the Toffees on a permanent deal, Barry told the Daily Telegraph: "America was an option and there was a conversation about it but when I spoke to the coaches here they said, 'If you are going there, you are retiring'.
"That was in my head. Obviously I did not agree it was retiring but I sort of agreed it would have been going to a league that is up and coming and not as big as the Premier League, so I could see their point.
"There was a massive case for going there and experiencing it, and I spoke about it with my family - the idea of adapting to a different culture and going through another learning curve was appealing.
"I am sure I would have enjoyed it and there was a strong argument to go, but with the season we had at Everton last year I decided I was not ready to move and the club offered me a three-year contract which showed the faith they had in me.
"There was interest from three or four Premier League teams and a couple from abroad but I was happy here. While I could still play in the Premier League I really did not want to go abroad. I was not thinking about winding down my career."