The Zenit St Petersburg defender was seemingly on the move to the Stadium of Light this summer after the two clubs had agreed a fee of around £5million.
However, the move for the 30-year-old hit a hitch on Wednesday, with reports claiming a knee issue had surfaced during his medical.
The Belgian has now moved to reject said rumours, telling Sky Sports “people are making up stories”.
“The medical was not an issue,” he insisted. “I don’t want to talk about the medical.
“I decided to stay in Russia.
“Other teams were interested but I wanted to stay here. It’s my home here, and I feel happy.”