Fulham have signed Venezuelan defender Fernando Amorebieta on a free transfer.

Amorebieta has opted to leave Athletic Bilbao after eight seasons with the club and moves to London in search of a fresh challenge. The 28 year-old centre back made more than 250 appearances for Bilbao and will provide strong competition for the established partnership of Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes at the heart of the Fulham defence. The signing is seen as something of a coup as Fulham beat off significant interest from Arsenal, Everton and Zenit St Petersburg to seal this deal.

Amorebieta said: “I’m delighted to have signed a four-year deal with Fulham and I’m looking forward to competing in the Barclays Premier League next season. I’m impressed with the talent already at the club and I look forward to meeting the players for pre-season training in July.”