Sebastien Puygrenier has completed his switch from Nancy to fellow Ligue 1 side St Etienne on a four-year contract.
The burly centre-back has moved for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of 5million euros.
The 26-year-old turned down an offer from Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg earlier this week, preferring to stay in France.
Rennes and Paris St Germain were also thought to be keen on signing Puygrenier, who opted to quit Nancy at the end of last season after five years with the Lorraine club.
St Etienne have released a statement confirming the transfer, adding that Puygrenier will link up with his new team-mates at the start of next week.
Puygrenier was the rock at the heart of a Nancy rearguard which conceded just 30 goals in Ligue 1 last season, the joint-best defensive record in the division.