Newcastle ace Yohan Cabaye has revealed he could have joined Aston Villa before making the move to St James' Park in the summer.
Cabaye has proved to be an instant hit at Newcastle since arriving from French champions Lille, but he admits his future could have been different as Aston Villa were keen on signing him.
The French international claims he could have made the switch to Villa Park if fellow Frenchman Gerard Houllier had remained in charge, but with the former Liverpool boss stepping down over the summer the move fell through.
Cabaye, who has been instrumental in Newcastle's unbeaten start in the Premier League, also played down talk linking him with Arsenal and insists he is happy with his choice to join the Magpies.
"My name was being linked with clubs left, right and centre for two years, but there were no firm contacts," Cabaye is quoted as saying in The People.
"I had the possibility of going to Aston Villa. But it depended upon whether Gerard Houllier was going to continue in charge and as he ended up not staying I did not join them.
"A lot of people thought that I was going to sign for Arsenal this summer, but Newcastle were all I had.
"I was never in contact with anybody at Arsenal. They made some enquiries but that was as far as it went.
"The only person I spoke to on the phone was Alan Pardew, and I really liked what he had to say.
"If it was all about money I would now be in Russia and not in Newcastle. Many people did not understand my decision but it was easy for me.
"The Premier League is the best in the world and I'm happy with my choice. "