Stoke signing Diao: I rejected Derby, Sunderland

Salif Diao has revealed he turned down offers from Sunderland and Derby to sign for Stoke because the Potters are "in his heart".

Diao, who finished last season as a Stoke player after leaving Liverpool, penned an 18-month deal at the Britannia Stadium on Monday to finally end speculation over his future.

The 30-year-old's move to the Potteries never materialised over the summer and there were fears he may have been lining up a move back to the Premier League.

However, Diao told The Sentinel he was recovering from a knee injury and insists there was never any doubt in his mind he would return to City.

He said: "There was quite a bit of interest in me - including from Premier League sides - but none more so than Stoke, and that kept me going.

"My dream is to get back into the Premier League with Stoke, and if I didn't think that was possible I wouldn't have come back."

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