Conceiçao sets stage for summer transfer action
Following Saturday's announcement that Sergio Conceiçao has signed on with Les Canaris through to 2020, the Portuguese coach spoke about his plans for the summer transfer market.
Conceiçao was brought in to replace René Girard back in December when Les Canaris were in 19th place, and since then he has turned the Atlantic coast side around and is now settling in for the long haul.
His original deal ran through to 2018, but following Saturday's 1-0 Week 35 win over Lorient, the club announced his having signed an extension through to 2020 and now the popular coach - whose side sit in eighth place coming off consecutive wins - is making plans for the season to come.
"I feel really good here," he declared. "The club's ambition is to do even better next season. We need to consolidate our improvements with a top-ten finish and then, next season, we need to continue the good work we're doing as this season draws to a close."
Ideas in mind
While the Nantes boss didn't mention any European ambitions, his extended tenure at the helm has him in a position to start feathering the nest come the summer transfer window.
"The team has an excellent core, and I don't want to change that much," explained the 43-year-old. "We need to bring in five or six players and I already have three or four in mind."
The club will need to revive its recruitment sector, which has been out of commission since the departures of William Ayache and Olivier Monterrubio in December.
"We will get that sorted out, because it's very important," said Conceiçao. "You can’t just watch tape; sooner or later you need to be there in person. I have to focus 100 per cent on the senior team; I'm not looking to change anything at the youth academy as it's running very well."
Indeed, Nantes youth academy graduate Valentin Rongier is just one example of a home-grown talent who has caught Conceiçao's eye. The Portuguese believes that the 22-year-old has a big future and thus his work in the summer will not only consist of bringing talent in, but also of stopping it from walking out the door.
"In two or three years, he will be able to play at any club," said the Canaris boss. "He is no less a player than Paris Saint-Germain midfielders like Marco Verratti. I don't want to lose players like him."