Newly promoted Ligue 1 side Lens have announced the signing of Seko Fofana from Serie A side Udinese.
The Ivory Coast international put pen to paper on a four-year deal after successful medical examinations with the Blood and Gold.
The 25-year-old midfielder joined Udinese permanently from Premier League side Manchester City in 2016 and has made 112 appearances for the Italian club, scoring 13 goals.
Fofana is delighted with the opportunity afforded him to return to France, having previously featured for Bastia on loan.
“I am from Paris and I started football at Paris FC. I then joined Lorient, where I was at the same time in the French youth team. Afterwards, I went to Manchester City which loaned me to Bastia and Fulham,” Fofana told the club website.
“Finally, I joined Udinese four years ago. These experiences allowed me to discover three different countries, to see how it went. It's a pleasure because today I speak three languages.
“I've wanted to play at Lens for a very long time. When I was still young I saw players like Wylan Cyprien sign here. I was impressed because La Gillette was one of the best training centres. I have known Lens since that time.
“I also have friends who have been there like Thierry Ambrose. He told me that he was very happy there. So that allowed me to judge how the atmosphere was.
“A few weeks ago, RC Lens contacted my agents. When Lens calls you, tells you about her plans, you don't hesitate.
“The discussions were done, nobody expected me to come here. I had other requests but I asked myself the right questions.
“It's a great day that I've been waiting for a very long time. In addition, I wanted to come back to France."
Lens manager Franck Haise is pleased with the addition of the Ivory Coast international and hopes he will be a good option for his side.
“There is great potential that has already been expressed for a few years. Over the last five seasons, Seko has played in Bastia and Udinese. I think he will bring us a lot in the midfield,” Haise said.
“Seko became our priority a few weeks ago. He is the most complete player that we could hope to recruit from the tracks we had. Seko showed a great desire to join us.
"On the pitch, he is able to stay organized to adjust the team's balance. At the same time, he has a great ability to create and to be decisive on the last pass.
“He is also capable of scoring a few goals in a season. Regarding the defensive aspect, he knows how to impose a strong impact. It is, therefore, a very nice signing.”
Seko has six caps for Ivory Coast since he made his debut in a World Cup qualifier against Morocco in November 2017.