By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United have completed the signing of Mathieu Debuchy from Lille for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year-old French international has put pen to paper on a five-and-a-half-year contract at St. James' Park and will wear the number 26 shirt.
Debuchy, who plays as a right-back, made more than 230 appearances for Lille during a nine-year senior spell at the club, having come up through the youth ranks of his local side.
He has been a regular for Les Dogues over the last few seasons, helping them to a league and cup double in 2011.
And now on Tyneside, the 12-times-capped defender will link up again with former club teammate, international colleague and close friend Yohan Cabaye.
Debuchy said: "It is great to become a Newcastle United player.
"After many great years at Lille I felt I was ready for a new challenge, and cannot wait to play for such a big club in the best league in the world.
"I hope I can bring something fresh to the team and help us get up to the highest possible position in the Premier League this season.
"I will give everything for this Club."
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said: "We are absolutely delighted to have finally secured the signature of Mathieu.
"It's no secret we've been trailing him for some time now and to have reached this point fills me with great excitement and anticipation in respect of what he will be able to offer the team.
"At the same time it's a huge relief to actually have him with us now.
"He is an established top international player and it is a real coup for this Club that we now have him at St. James' Park.
"Mathieu will add real quality to our team, in terms of his ability, character and experience and I am sure he will quickly become a firm favourite among our fans too."
Stay logged on to nufc.co.uk throughout the day for exclusive interviews and photos of new signing Mathieu Debuchy.