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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Saints sign Yahia
Southampton signing Alleddine Yahia
Alleddine is fresh from the Olympic tournament
Southampton have completed the 350,000 signing of Tunisian defender Alleddine Yahia from French club Guingamp.

Yahia, 22, has signed a three-year deal at St Mary's and is seen as a direct replacement for Fitz Hall, sold to Crystal Palace for 1.5m.

Paris-born Yahia has dual Tunisian-French nationality and will not require a work permit.

Yahia arrives at St Mary's from the Olympic football tournament where he made three appearances for Tunisia.

Saints' new head coach Steve Wigley was keen to add cover for the injury absence of Sweden international Michael Svensson, who is expected to be out for three months following knee surgery.

The wheels to sign Yahia could have been put in motion before Wigley's appointment on Monday.

Saints beat off competition for Yahia from French top-flight outfit Sochaux, who are managed by his former mentor Guy Lacombe.

Yahia was keen to play in the Premiership and although he was signed too late to for Wednesday's game against Bolton at St Mary's he could come into contention for Southampton's visit to Chelsea.

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