Matthew Kilgallon turned down the chance to rejoin Sheffield United in order to sign for rivals Doncaster Rovers on loan.
The 27-year-old York-born defender played for the Blades for three seasons before sealing a £1million move to Sunderland last term.
Kilgallon spoke to United's new manager Micky Adams prior to joining Doncaster, but felt it would be wrong to return to Bramall Lane.
A host of other clubs were reportedly interested, including Leeds, although he did not believe an Elland Road return would be beneficial.
Kilgallon knows some of Doncaster's players already and is looking forward to helping the South Yorkshire side win promotion to the Premier League.
"A lot of other clubs wanted me and some were going to pay more money," he told the Yorkshire Post. "But how often do you hear people say it is hard to go back to an old club?
"I spoke to Sheffield United and Micky Adams asked if I fancied it but, to be honest, I just fancied something different.
"There was also talk of going back to Leeds but there are different people there now and I don't think it would have worked. I still hope Sheffield United do well and Leeds, too, who are flying in the table.
"But, with a bit of luck, I can help Doncaster win promotion to the Premier League. I have come close to promotion from the Championship twice - with Leeds and Sheffield - so maybe this will be third time lucky.
"They have a good team and good team spirit and the manager is known for playing really good football. I know a few of the players already - Neil Sullivan, Martin Woods and John Oster - and I'm raring to go.
"What's happened has not knocked my confidence - in fact it is nice to know that people still want me."