Diao joy at Stoke return

Image: Diao: Happy with Stoke deal

Salif Diao claims he turned down interest from the Premier League to return to Stoke City.

Midfielder spurned interest from Premier League

Salif Diao claims he turned down interest from the Premier League to return to Stoke City. The midfielder signed an 18-month contract at the Britannia Stadium on Monday following a successful loan spell at the club last season. Stoke boss Tony Pulis had been chasing Diao's signature for some time, but the Senegalese has revealed he did not want to take the club's money while he was building up his fitness. And, after expressing his delight at rejoining the Championship side, the former Liverpool man admitted he could have stayed in the top flight.

Frustrating

"I picked up a knee injury towards the end of last season and I knew I would be out for a little while over pre-season if I played on, but it was a risk I was willing to take," Diao told the club's official website. "I went on holiday during pre-season to give it some rest, but that made it worse. I was told after that I should have kept training and kept it moving, so that was extremely frustrating. "I could have signed before now, but there was no way I was going to come here and take money off the club when I couldn't even train. "There were other clubs apart from Stoke interested in me, including Premier League sides. But as much as I want to play at the top level, Stoke is in my heart, and it would have been very, very difficult to turn my back on them."

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