Yacouba Sylla completes switch from Aston Villa to Stade Rennes

Aston Villa midfielder Yacouba Sylla has joined French side Stade Rennes on a four-year contract.

Ligue 1 side Rennes confirmed the transfer on their official club website to end Sylla's two-and-a-half year stay at Villa Park.

"Stade Rennais FC is pleased to announce the signing of the Mali international, Yacouba Sylla," the French club said in a brief statement.

The 24-year-old Malian joined Villa from Clermont Foot for £2 million in January 2013 but made only 12 Premier League starts and spent last season on loan at Turkish Super Lig club Kayseri Erciyesspor.

Sylla joins Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann in leaving the Barclays Premier League club as Villa manager Tim Sherwood continues to re-shape his squad ahead of next season, while Matt Lowton has joined Burnley.

Sylla, who was born in France and represented the country at Under-21 level, said he was delighted to be returning to French football.

"I needed to regain stability and to have an interesting challenge," Sylla told the official Rennes website.

"The club is ambitious and the project is one that suited me the most.

"I will integrate myself in the best way and do the work in order to have good results for the club and to achieve our goals."