Liverpool strike Rickie Lambert has revealed that he rejected Aston Villa due to lack of thinking time.
The England international left Southampton and made a switch to Anfield during the last summer transfer window. Brendan Rodgers also signed Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini returned to the Merseyside club from his loan spell at Sunderland.
Lambert has seen his first team appearances restricted at Liverpool. The Villa Park outfit were ready to sign him in the January transfer window and they made a move on the deadline day.
The former Southampton striker admitted that he was very close to joining Villa, only to pull the plug at the end.
“I wasn’t aware of any interest until deadline day,” Lambert told the ECHO.
“I got a phone call from the gaffer about 4pm saying Aston Villa had come in. He said he didn’t want me to go but basically offered me the chance if I wanted to play football, which is fair enough.
“I spoke to my agent, I spoke to my wife, I spoke to Aston Villa and it was close. It was very close. It was touch and go. We agreed everything.
“The deal was agreed, but in the end, there just wasn’t enough time to say ‘yes’ – to make a decision in the space of four or five hours for the next two-and-a-half-years. Not just for me, but for my family as well.
“It was something I just couldn’t do. It was too short notice. It was too big of a decision to make in the short amount of time I had.
“It was late. It was about half nine (when I made my mind up). I would have had to have gone and done the medical then.
“I’d done that once before when Bristol Rovers came in for me on deadline day. Back then I was driving down in the car and negotiating the contract. That would have had to have been the same again. But at the last minute I said no.
“It was nothing negative towards Aston Villa, it’s a great club. I just didn’t think it was right for me to leave here just six months into my Liverpool career. I didn’t want to go.
“It was something that I would have probably looked back at a few years down the line and regretted if I had moved too early. It was very close but I just couldn’t do it.”
“It’s hard sometimes when you aren’t playing but I’m at the club I love. I’m not willing to give that up easily,” the former Southampton striker added.