Valencia have announced the signing of Tunisia defender Aymen Abdennour, a player who had been linked with Chelsea as their pursuit of John Stones faltered. Abdennour, 26, has signed a five-year contract with Valencia, the club said, and joins from Monaco for an undisclosed fee.

"I chose Valencia CF out of all the offers I received, because it is a big club in Spain and Europe," Abdennour said on the club's website.

Abdennour added: "I had no doubts. I am happy to be here and to be part of an ambitious and serious project, and I would like to thank the technical staff, Lay Hoon and Peter Lim. I will give my all to have a good season with my new team-mates. Everyone knows Valencia CF because they have won a lot of trophies. I am delighted to be joining the best league in the world and hope to play well for the team."

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Abdennour was brought to Europe by Werder Bremen, initially on loan, before joining Toulouse. He moved to Monaco on loan in January 2014 and earned a permanent switch to the principality club as his stock rose.

Valencia chairwoman Lay Hoon Chan said: "Aymen is one of the best defenders in Europe , strong and young with big potential. I am happy that he has shown great interest and commitment in our project at the very first moment."