Both Celtic and Blackburn were among the clubs credited with an interest in the 26-year-old, who walked out on AZ Alkmaar at the end of his contract.
But the chance to follow his manager, John van der Brom, from Alkmaar to Utrecht, ensured that last season's sixth-placed Eredivisie side were always going to be Maher's first port of call where talks were concerned, according to De Telegraaf.
Meanwhile, Maher told Voetbal International: "I know the trainer from the past, which is of course an advantage. But he didn't push me. The trainer has left it in the middle. Of course, he did say that he wanted me to be with me."
And the five-cap Dutchman has admitted that he could have signed a more lucrative deal abroad.
"The choice for Utrecht is a sporting one," he added. "This club has many ambitions, wants to go to the national sub-top. The story is really good. They showed what is possible in the play-offs. A choice for the money? It certainly isn't. Then I would have gone abroad. This is a choice based on feeling."
The Celtic midfielder, Olivier Ntcham, has been strongly linked with a move away from Glasgow this summer, while Ntcham's Blackburn counterparts, Ben Gladwin and Jack Rodwell, could still leave at the end of their contracts.
Would Maher have been a good addition for Celtic or Blackburn Rovers?
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