Swansea snap up Tabanou
Published 19/06/2015 | 12:46
Swansea have announced the signing of St Etienne's Franck Tabanou on a three-year contract.
The versatile former France Under-21 international, who can operate on the left side of defence or attack, becomes Swansea's second summer signing following the capture of Ghana forward Andre Ayew on a free transfer from Marseille.
Swansea confirmed the arrival of Tabanou, who they tried to sign during the January transfer window, on the official club website and it is understood they will pay around £3.5million for the 26-year-old, who will primarily provide competition for Wales left-back Neil Taylor.
"Tabanou has plenty of experience having played in the Europa League and previously the Uefa Cup, while he has 12 caps for his country at U21 level," said a Swansea statement on a transfer which is subject to Premier League and international clearance.
Paris-born Tabanou's senior career began at Toulouse where he made nearly 140 appearances before joining St Etienne in the summer of 2013.
He scored four goals in 65 appearances in two seasons at St Etienne, twice helping Les Verts into the Europa League with fourth and fifth-placed finishes in Ligue 1.
Tabanou described his move to Swansea as the "perfect match" after also attracting interesting from Russian and Turkish clubs.
"Swansea is a very good Premier League club and I believe it's the right move forward for me at this stage of my career," Tabanou told the club's official website.
"I wanted to come to Swansea because I believe we are the perfect match.
"I was aware of Swansea's interest in me for a while, but unfortunately it didn't happen back in January.
"But I've been watching them closely ever since and I like the way they play the game; their whole philosophy on football."
Tabanou said he was impressed with the way Swansea, who finished a club-best eighth in the Barclays Premier League last season, handled negotiations.
"Once I spoke to the manager (Garry Monk) and the chairman (Huw Jenkins) my mind was made up because I realised they really wanted me. Again, it all matched," he said.
"I was particularly impressed with the manager because he knew everything about me. I was also touched by the fact that he said I was a top signing for Swansea.
"I am keen to show I am able to perform in the Premier League - the best league in the world."
Swansea have also confirmed the appointment of former Wales international Tony Roberts as their new first-team goalkeeping coach.
Roberts, who joins from Arsenal, replaces Javier Garcia who has returned to his home in Spain for personal reasons after 12 months in south Wales.
Swansea manager Monk said: "Tony comes with an excellent reputation as a forward-thinking, modern and knowledgeable goalkeeping coach.
"I've got no doubt that his talents will strengthen the club's backroom staff and keep improving and pushing the goalkeepers forward.''