Joe Cole has admitted that he rejected moves to Premier League clubs to sign for Lille.
The England international moved to the French club on a season-long loan from Liverpool on transfer deadline day.
Cole had failed to establish himself as a first-team regular in Kenny Dalglish's side, after being signed by Roy Hodgson from Chelsea in 2010.
Aston Villa were believed to have made a late attempt to lure him to Villa Park, with QPR and Tottenham also interested.
The 29-year-old confirmed that he had received interest from English clubs before making the move to Lille.
"I had offers in England," admitted Cole. "I know Lille play well, they are a club with a great pedigree and it's really exciting to have a chance to play in the Champions League again.
"I've always wanted to play abroad. I'm glad the move has been completed and I'm looking forward to a different challenge.
Cole made just nine Premier League starts for the Reds last season, scoring two goals.
He said: "I admit it hurt me that it did not work out at Liverpool. I am a winner, and it will stay with me that I didn't have a successful time at the club.
"But I can't look back, I have to move on and this is a perfect challenge.
"The support I received from everyone at Liverpool was great but things just didn't work out as I hoped."