New Â£8million centre-back reveals what persuaded him to join Sunderland
Sunderland's summer spending is finally up and running after the club splashed out Â£8million on Chelsea centre-back Papy Djilobodji.
The 27-year-old Senegalese international, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, has signed a four-year deal at the club.
And he has revealed that a telephone call from David Moyes helped persuade him that his future lay on Wearside.
“I am so happy to join Sunderland and I believe we are going to do something this season,” said Djilobodji.
“Sunderland is a big team, a big club, with a big fan base and now we are going to do our best to give the fans what they deserve. The coach called me and I was so happy. The manager said he wanted me to come to work with him and I was so delighted.
“It is now all done and I am a Sunderland player we will work everyday to improve.”
Having began his career in Senegal with ASC Saloum, Djilobodji played the majority of his football in France with Nantes, before heading to Stamford Bridge last summer.
Djilobodji joined Chelsea for £4m but only made one appearance before spending the second half of last season on loan at Werder Bremen.
And the versatile defender played a key role in the Bundesliga club’s survival, scoring an 88th minute winner on the final day to secure survival.
Capped 12 times by Senegal, Djilobodji, who appeared at the 2015 African Cup of Nations, is now looking forward to an extended run in the Premier League.
“Premier League football is so good. I liked it when I was young and now I am here and will enjoy it,” added Djilobodji.
“We need the fans for the whole season and [the aim] is to give them a lot of results and good points and fight.
“I hope they will be happy for this year.”
Right-back and centre-forward remain the two other priorities for Sunderland, with the club also closing in on a deal for Yann M’Vila.
Italian international Stefano Okaka, who plays for Anderlecht, has been linked along with Okaka’s team-mate Kara Mbodji.
Moyes didn’t speak to the press after last night’s 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund in Austria, instead leaving Paul Bracewell to face the media.
Bracewell moved to reassure fans there is a “lot of activity going on in the background” ahead of the Djilobodji deal being confirmed late last night.