Chelsea's search for a new centre-back has suffered a new blow after Valencia confirmed the signing of Aymen Abdennour from Monaco.

With Everton refusing to sell John Stones, Chelsea were reported to have lined up

Abdennour and Zenit Saint Petersburg's Ezequiel Garay as alternatives.

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However, Zenit are apparently refusing to entertain offers for Garay ahead of Tuesday's transfer deadline, and Monaco have now sold Abdennour, who had also been linked with a number of other Premier League teams, to Valencia despite the 26-year-old's apparent preference to join Chelsea.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Abdennour had signed papers saying he wanted to play for Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea were apparently willing to pay £15million for the Tunisia international, but Monaco are said to have upped the price at the last minute, putting off the Blues and allowing Valencia to seal a reported €30million (£21.8m) deal.

Abdennour, who has signed a five-year contract with Los Che, told his new club's official website: "I chose Valencia CF out of all the offers I received, because it is a big club in Spain and Europe.

"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."

Valencia chairwoman Lay Hoon Chan added: "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."