"We have a young squad," Hughes told mcfc.co.uk, "a lot of the players are young guys and sometimes their focus can be different from someone who is a bit further on in life. You need to add senior players to a group that is predominantly young like the one we have, that's what we are trying to factor in when we bring players in.
"We are looking for players who have the mentality and the aptitude to take this club where we want to take it. Gareth ticks all the boxes in that respect, he has huge experience in the Premier League. I've been told he was the youngest player to reach 300 appearances in the Premier League, which tells its own story.
"He has done that in the hardest league in the world, and to be able to bring a player of that type here at this moment in time is crucial for us".
City's swoop for Barry was the first big move of the close season, and it is one that the Manager sees as a statement of intent as well as a marker for how he wants to conduct his business this summer.
"I think we took a few people by surprise and we kept it under the radar. I am very clear about where this club is going, and when I get the chance to sit down with people I want to make them understand that. Gareth bought into that very quickly and wanted to be part of it.
"The whole thing was done very swiftly, and that's what we want to do in the future. Long, drawn-out transfers are not what we want, those situations make it difficult for both players and clubs. If it can be done cleanly and quickly, that benefits everybody."