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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

'Big affection' pulls Dickov back to City

Paul Dickov has revealed his love for Manchester City led to him spurning a European adventure with Blackburn.

Dickov has signed a two-year contract with City, returning to the club he left in 2002 after scoring 33 goals in 156 appearances over five and a half years.

After spending the last two seasons at Ewood Park and helping Rovers into the UEFA Cup, Blackburn also offered a two-year deal.

But the 33-year-old former Scotland international opted for City and revealed: 'It's fantastic for me.

'I never wanted to leave in the first place. I've a great love for this club, and I know players often say that and people may question that, but I genuinely have a big affection for Manchester City.

'I support the club myself, my kids are Junior Blues and it's a massive thing for me to come back. I can't stop smiling about it!'

Dickov, who had two other Premiership clubs interested in signing him, told 'Blackburn offered me a great deal to stay there - two years - and they were going into Europe.

'But I just felt the chance of coming back here was too big a pull for me.

'Financially, I could have gone elsewhere, but this is the club I support and it's one where I want to be successful.

'Playing for Stuart Pearce is also a draw, but so are the fans.

'I said it when I was here and since I left, but they are the best fans in Europe.

'I had a lot of good luck messages from City fans when I went to Leicester, and even when I went to Blackburn.

'They were a factor, and a big reason to pull me back to the club.'