Wayne Rooney said he feared becoming a "dead weight" if he had remained at Everton instead of joining DC United, and claimed his boyhood club were happy for him to leave.
Rooney spent just one season at Everton after rejoining the club on a two-year contract in 2017, scoring 10 goals in 31 Premier League appearances in a campaign that saw Sam Allardyce take over from Ronald Koeman as the club's manager.
Allardyce left the club in May to be replaced by Marco Silva, and Rooney said the winds of change at Goodison Park left him feeling clear about the decision to move away.
"Everton made it clear if there was an offer there, they would be happy for me to go," he told BBC Sport.
"I understand they have brought a new manager in, got new staff, they obviously want to bring in players that manager wants.
"I am sure it will release money for the new players who come in. I am sure that was in their thinking.
"I said to them if that is what you want, I am not going to hang around and be a dead weight. I will go somewhere else and play."
While expressing his excitement about what may be the final chapter in his illustrious playing career, Rooney admitted he already has one eye on becoming a coach.
Having played under Sir Alex Ferguson and Louis Van Gaal at Manchester United, as well as Sven Goran Eriksson, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson with England, Rooney has been coached by some of football's most revered managers.
Looking towards the end of his playing career, he said: "You do try and plan things but my main focus has to be on what the team does here.
"In the back of my mind, I am hoping that by the end of that three-and-a-half years, I will have all my coaching badges done.
"Then I have the opportunity to do what comes up, whether that is coaching, management or TV.
"I have said before, it would be a shame to walk away from football after being involved in it for so long.
"It is something I have an interest in and am passionate about. If the right option comes up then of course it is something I would look at."