Bolton Wanderers have secured Fousseni Diawara's services on loan for the rest of the season with a view to a permanent deal.
The Trotters have been in talks with St Etienne this week and have now made their first signing of the January transfer window.
The Mali international was also attracting interest from Toulouse and Sedan, but Bolton have won the race for his signature.
Diawara is confident of setting in at The Reebok as his close friend Abdoulaye Faye also plays for Sam Allardyce's side.
"I'm happy here already," stated Diawara. "The coach wants me and I know many of the players.
"I started playing football with Abdoulaye when I was a young kid and I know that will help me."