Distin said: “After five years at City it was a tough choice to leave. But when I thought it was time for me to go I didn’t think they really tried to keep me.
“When I came to City, Stuart Pearce was just retiring as a player and when he became manager he had to learn the job. I had a good relationship with him but I never really saw the club’s ambition.
“In five years I’ve seen a lot of good players coming and then going – some of the best like Nicolas Anelka and so on. I think if you want to push for Europe you have to keep your best players.
“When you play there for five years it is not like when you are a fan coming to watch every other week. I know them [the club] deep inside.
“There is talk of a takeover now and maybe things are going to change but I didn’t want to wait any longer. Five years is long enough.
“For me it was important that Portsmouth have shown their ambition and they have done that.
“This is a club definitely going forward. It reminds me of the old City atmosphere at Maine Road.”