James Coppinger says he turned down offers from other clubs to remain at Doncaster Rovers.
And the Rovers legend has admitted: “It’s the closest I’ve been to leaving.”
Coppinger, 37, penned a new one-year deal on Friday to extend his record-breaking spell with Doncaster into a 15th season.
Oldham Athletic, managed by former Rovers midfielder Richie Wellens, are understood to be among those clubs who attempted to lure Coppinger away from the Keepmoat Stadium while he remained in contract limbo.
“I’m delighted, obviously,” Coppinger told The Star.
“It’s probably the latest I’ve left it, to a point.
“It’s hard when you get to my age and you’ve got other things going on.
“I’ve obviously had a few offers from different clubs.
“It’s the closest I’ve been to leaving to be honest.”
He added: “It’s the first time I’ve been available for a long time, come the end of the season.
“I wasn’t offered a contract until after the season had finished - from Doncaster.
“Obviously the manager said he was going to offer me a contract but until it’s offered there’s nothing you can do.
“I never wanted to leave after 14 years here.
“It also would’ve been a shame to have left with the way the season petered out.
“I don’t mean as a team, or in terms of results. I mean more from personal point of view
“If I’d have left without playing the last three games it would have been disappointing and frustrating.
“I think there’s massive potential with the manager and squad we’ve got here to be successful next season.”
Coppinger has made 574 appearances since joining Doncaster in 2004.