CALLUM Cooke is back at Valley Parade after making it clear how much he wanted to return.

Cooke becomes Stuart McCall’s third summer signing after penning a two-year deal.

The midfielder played 27 times on loan from Peterborough last season and was one of the brighter lights in City’s disappointing campaign.

McCall had hoped to bring him back – but admitted he never expected it to happen because of finances.

But Cooke remained keen for a second crack with the Bantams and rejected other offers, including some from League One, to get a deal done.

McCall said: “It’s the desire of him to be here that has made it happen.

“He’s a popular player in the dressing room. When we discussed the ones that had left, he was always one we’d have loved to bring back.

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“But we knew what his wage was at Peterborough and knew at the time that we weren’t going to get anywhere near to that.”

McCall had not spoken to Cooke since he left in April when the 23-year-old’s agent rang him a couple of months ago about another player.

The conversation turned to Cooke and how much he enjoyed his time with City and would be keen on coming back.

But City were in no position to make an offer and that was the same situation last month when the agent got back in touch.

Things accelerated a week ago when Cooke had League One clubs in the south pressing him for an answer.

McCall said: “They wanted a decision and I understood that. So, I spoke to Julian (Rhodes) and told Cookie’s agent ‘give us your lowest offer because that will probably be our highest’.

“People have got to remember it’s difficult for every club. Nobody is getting an income and even when we get back in September, these are going to be tough times.

Playing for this club, the minimum is to give 100 per cent and I just cannot wait to get going here again

“But I don’t think it would have happened if Callum hadn’t wanted to come to us so much and that makes it so pleasing.

“Kenny (Black) and I have obviously only worked with him for a short time but we know he’s a good footballer who suits our style of play. We’re delighted to have him on board.

“Unfortunately, he got a back injury at the training ground after our first game which kept him out. But we saw enough to know that he’s going to be a player who can be good for us.

“I got a text from Callum the other night reinforcing how much he didn’t want to go anywhere else. He’s so wanting to be successful here.”

Cooke confirmed that returning to City was always his preferred option after being released by Peterborough.

He said: “I just knew, when my loan finished here last season, that I wanted to come back. I got straight on the phone to my agent and told him this was the club I wanted to be at.

“Playing for this club, the minimum is to give 100 per cent and I just cannot wait to get going here again.

“I feel, from a footballing perspective, I have a lot more developing to do and playing here under the gaffer and Kenny will bring that out of me.”