Sunderland were keen on signing Sevilla star Vicente Iborra during the summer transfer window, but the midfielder opted to stay in Spain with his current club.
It was claimed in the Spanish and English media that David Moyes’ team had tabled a bid of £7m.
The 28-year-old has been speaking to Spanish radio Cadena Ser (via Estadio Deportivo), and was asked about Sunderland’s interest. Iborra insisted staying at Sevilla was always his first choice, and that money isn’t everything.
He said: “They were intense days. It was not easy. At one point, you look at the changes in your life. It was clear from the beginning that Sevilla was my first choice.
“It was a very good deal for both parties, but I wanted to stay here. For me, money isn’t everything or the experience there.”
Earlier, Mundo Deportivo reported Iborra is set to be offered a new contract for his loyalty towards Sevilla. Which all means he gets to stay where he wants, and will be earning more money largely thanks to the Sunderland approach… at least someone benefitted!