Marseille president Pape Diouf has revealed that Manchester City were keen to sign Djibril Cisse.
The France striker is poised to join Sunderland on a season-long loan deal after the two clubs 'agreed in principle' to the move.
Cisse spoke earlier this summer of his desire to return to the Premier League, after spending two-and-a-half seasons with Liverpool from 2004 to 2006.
Diouf has now claimed that a number of English sides wanted to bring in Cisse before he plumped for the Black Cats.
"We had the chance of replying to the offers of other clubs, like Manchester (City), but he as well as me said 'no'," Cisse told Marseille's official website.
"People were perhaps expecting Djibril to move to a prestigious team. And Sunderland, without being among the great English clubs, are part of a league where clubs have all the economic power and sporting importance.
"With Sunderland, it isn't an impulsive thing. But as he came to the end of this transfer window, he wanted to leave and showed a massive desire to play.
"It is that, more than his divorce from OM, that is in his mind at the moment."
Cisse is looking forward to the challenge of playing for Sunderland and is confident of a successful campaign.
He said: "It's a new test. (Sunderland) are a team we think are small but they are looking to progress. With this signing they have given me a lot of scope to have a good season.
"One thing is for sure - there is a lot of potential."