Valencia sign Aymen Abdennour from Monaco

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."

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."