Ribery in love with Fiorentina after spurning Premier League interest

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Franck Ribery says the affection he feels for Fiorentina has justified his decision to shun transfer interest from the Premier League.

The former France international was linked to Sheffield United and clubs in the Middle East after leaving Bayern Munich as a free agent at the end of last season.

Fiorentina won the race for his signature and have reaped the benefits, with winger Ribery named Serie A's Most Valuable Player for September following a string of standout performances for Vincenzo Montella's side.

"I had other contacts, in England and also in Italy, but there was a spark with the Fiorentina executives," Ribery told Corriere della Serra.

"When I agreed to come to Florence I couldn't know that it would be love at first sight, but that's how it has been since the evening of the presentation. That night was special and I will always carry it with me.

"Speaking with [sporting director Daniele] Prade and [consultant Joe] Barone, even with coach Montella, I felt warmth and confidence in me."

The 36-year-old departed Bayern at the same time as long-time team-mate Arjen Robben, who decided to retire aged 35.

"I don't know," Ribery responded when asked how much longer he might have left in the game.

"I came here because I'm hungry and I want to be able to win something. But the future cannot be foreseen."