Sporting Lisbon has added midfielder Gelson Fernandes on a free transfer from St Etienne.

Fernandes spent the second half of last season at Udinese on loan, but he has now decided to sign a four-year contract with Sporting.

"I am delighted and I have to say thanks for the reception that I have received," Fernandes told his new club's official website.

"I was astonished by it. Sporting have a great history and are hungry for victories."

Fernandes has earned 37 caps for Switzerland and he joined St Etienne from Manchester City in 2009.

But he struggled to settle in France and was loaned out to Chievo and Leicester City before joining Udinese last season.