Bordeaux-bound Ménez returns to France
On Monday France international Jérémy Ménez signed a three-year deal with Bordeaux, the former Sochaux, Monaco and Paris forward making goog his return to France after three seasons with AC Milan.
Ménez, 29, left Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 to sign with AC Milan, but after an injury-hit spell across the Alps, the France forward has opted to bounce back in his home country, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal that will see him linked to Les Girondins until 2019.
"The project in place here convinced me," Ménez said after signing on with Bordeaux, whose new coach Jocelyn Gourvennec has already been active in the transfer market. "I think I needed that in order to start enjoying my football again and to be out on the pitch. I had a chance to talk to the coach and what he had to say made me want to come here. This club suits me. It's a family-style club and you see that right away."
Turning the page
After a difficult last season - he missed the first 26 matches when struck by infection following back surgery - the mercurial Ménez is keen to turn the page.
"I had a long injury absence last year. It wasn't easy. But I stayed patient and hung in there, so there you go," he explained. "Right now, I really just want to show what I'm capable of. It was my longest time out of the game, but it's behind me now."
'Get along well'
The club recently signed Ménez's erstwhile France teammate Jérémy Toulalan, but it turns out that there are quite few familiar faces in the Girondins dressing room.
"Sometimes fate has some funny surprises for you," he smiled. "I know some of these players well, like (Jaroslav) Plasil, (Nicolas) Maurice-Belay. But also (Cédric) Carrasso and Toulalan. It will make my integration that much easier, even though I have not had any misgivings. It's great; I'm happy to be hooking up with old teammates. There is a good squad here who get along well, which is also super-important."
And how high has Ménez allowed his ambitions to go for the season to come?
"Above all I want to start enjoying myself again," he admitted. "But really, things tend to take care of themselves. The ambition is to get Bordeaux back into Europe. It's a club that deserves to be playing in Europe."