Ciani fills Auxerre vacancy

France Under-21 defender Michaël Ciani has joined AJ Auxerre as they continue to rebuild their defence.

France Under-21 defender Michaël Ciani has left Belgian club R. Charleroi SC to sign a three-year contract with French UEFA Cup entrants AJ Auxerre for an undisclosed fee.

Fine performances
Ciani shone last season in the Belgian league and helped France win the recent U21 tournament in Toulon. His performances attracted the attention of Auxerre coach Guy Roux and negotiations began last week for the 20-year-old's transfer to Ligue 1.

New partnership
Ciani is likely to partner Czech international René Bolf in the centre of Auxerre's defence as last season's first-choice pairing, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Philippe Mexès, both left earlier this summer. Ciani follows former R. Excelsior Mouscron forward Luigi Pieroni in leaving Belgium for Auxerre.