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 By Ian Holyman

Monaco sign Youri Tielemans despite Man United, Man City interest

Youri Tielemans was a reported target of Manchester City and Man United.

Monaco have completed the signing of Belgian prodigy Youri Tielemans from Anderlecht in an estimated €25 million deal.

The 20-year-old put pen to paper on a five-year contract with the freshly-crowned French champions after undergoing a medical on Wednesday.

Tielemans, already a full Belgium international, was reportedly a target for both Manchester United and their rivals City among other European giants, but Champions League semifinalists Monaco have won the race for his signature.

"Monaco are a club with an ambitious project recognised on the European scene and which puts its faith in young players," Tielemans, who registered 13 goals and as many assists in Anderlecht's league title win last term, said on his new club's official website.

"With the national team, Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco told me a lot of good things about the team. All those parameters encouraged me to choose Monaco. I'm very happy to be here. I'm now going to do all I can to continue my progress here and repay the faith the club has shown on me."

After making big-name signings of established stars like Radamel Falcao and Ricardo Carvalho when they returned to the top flight in 2013, Monaco have since developed a strategy based on signed fledgling talents with a view to selling them on for a significant profit while reaping the benefit of their ability in the interim.

The signing of Tielemans, who has been capped three times by Belgium and was voted the Jupiler League's Player of the Year last season, fits snugly with that ethos, as the Ligue title-winner's vice-president Vadim Vasilyev highlighted.

"He was courted by very big clubs, but it's Monaco he chose to progress. We're very happy because it shows the very strong attraction of our project and a recognition of a certain savoir-faire.

"His arrival is in line with our strategy of signing talented young players.

"Youri's arrival, which comes with the season having barely finished, shows our strong will to build an ambitious and very competitive team for next season."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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