David Moyes swooped for Joleon Lescott after a tip-off from Manchester City, the 34-year-old defender has revealed.
In his first interview after signing a short-term deal with the club, Lescott said he was delighted to be back in the Premier League.
Sunderland's need for defensive depth has been clear all season but was strengthened when the FA charged Papy Djilobodji with an alleged act of violent conduct. He now faces a potential four game ban.
Lescott spent four months at AEK Athens at the start of the season before an injury led to a mutual confirmation of his contract. However, he has convinced the staff on Wearside that he is ready for action after a spell training with Pep Guardiola's Premier League giants.
Lescott said: "I’m over the moon, I spoke to the manager last week, he said there was some interest, I’m delighted to get it done.
"Any player wants to play in the Premier League at any stage. I went out there [to Greece] for a different experience, it’s not one I’ll be looking back on fondly but I’m delighted to be back.
"We spoke Thursday, he just asked me how I was, I’d been training down at Man City, he’s got a lot of friends down there, they’d relayed some information to him and he just said come up, so I came up on Friday, did some work with the fitness coach and it was a goer.
"He’s a well experienced manager, if anyone can get us out I’m sure it can be him."
Lescott also revealed that he is joining a squad with a number of familiar faces, and his excitement at playing in front of the Sunderland fans in the near future.
He said: "Victor, I’ve played with him a few times, me and Jermain go back to England U16’s, so it helps.
"I’m excited, it’s always an intense atmosphere [at the SoL], I haven’t had too many great results here so hopefully that can continue for the away teams while I’m here.