Gerard Houllier has questioned whether Gareth Barry and James Milner would think twice about leaving Aston Villa if given the choice again.
The duo earned significant rises in their salaries to make the move to Manchester City in £12million and £24m deals, respectively, ahead of manager Houllier's arrival at Villa Park last September.
Since arriving at Eastlands, both players have had to fight off competition from members of City's star-studded squad for spots in Roberto Mancini's first team.
And Houllier believes players should think carefully before giving up the chance to play regular football in favour of extra cash elsewhere.
When asked about the departure of Milner and Barry, Houllier said: "If sometimes, if you ask some players would they like to be one year younger, I think they would take it and consider things differently.
"Money doesn't buy you a regular place in the team and what players have to do is to think about it.
"You want to play. A real player has got the desire for winning and also a love for the game and wants to play."