Alan Hutton, the former Tottenham, Aston Villa and Rangers defender, has revealed he came close to joining Middlesbrough during the summer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the 34-year-old explained how he was offered a contract by Boro management team Jonathan Woodgate and Robbie Keane.
But Hutton snubbed the chance to move to the north-east due to the distance he would have been from his young family based in the Midlands.
Hutton is now contemplating retirement after being released by Aston Villa during the summer and snubbing various offers from English Championship clubs.
Asked about the offers that came his way over the summer, he told Football Insider: “I don’t really like saying because I don’t want to be like putting people in bad positions but the problem was it was far away.
“For instance I had really good phone calls with Middlesbrough, obviously I know Robbie Keane and Jonathan Woodgate very well.
“It was a difficult one for me because I’d love to give them everything because I know them so well and I know how good they’ll be but just family-wise it would be difficult from where it is.
“It was a shame but sometimes you have to make a decision which is tough and that was a tough one for me, I think overall that was best for me.”
Hutton started his career at Rangers before moving to England to join Tottenham for £9million in 2008.
He made 151 appearances in the Premier League for Spurs and Villa, as well as a further 112 in the Championship and 88 in the SPL.
In addition, the former Scotland international had shorter spells in Spain for Mallorca, at Sunderland, Bolton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest.
In other Middlesbrough news, it can be REVEALED that Charlton put block on player joining Boro for multi-million fee.