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The Black Cats' latest signing says he turned down offers from some of the Premier League's big hitters to join Paolo Di Canio's project at the Stadium of Light instead

Sunderland's latest signing Cabral says he turned down approaches from clubs in the Champions League to join the Black Cats.

The former Basel midfelder left the Swiss club on a free transfer and decided to join Paolo Di Canio's regime after considering his options.

The 24-year-old says he rejected moves to big clubs from Europe and the Premier League because he wanted to be assured of a regular first-team slot.

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"I had a lot of offers and a lot of clubs were interested in me, including some who were in the Champions League," he told the Sunderland Echo.

"But I think I wanted to choose a club where the coach was ambitious. I had two conversations with Di Canio and I got the sense that he wanted to achieve something here with the players he was looking to bring in.

"I wanted to come to Sunderland and play in the Premier League. I’d prefer to come to Sunderland than Arsenal, Everton or Tottenham where I might only be on the bench.

"I’ve got the chance to play regularly for a good club like Sunderland. But most of all, I chose Sunderland because of Di Canio.

"It’s definitely been a dream of mine to play in the Premier League and now it’s come true."

Di Canio has been eager to improve the fitness levels of the club's players since arriving at the club in March, and Cabral admits the Italian manager has been putting the squad through their paces in pre-season.

"The first few days have been hard, but good,” he added.

"There’s a good atmosphere around the team and I’m enjoying the training. It’s been really hard from the first day.

"Usually I begin quite slowly and then build it up. But straightaway here, it was tough so that’s been something new for me."

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