Girondins de Bordeaux have scored a transfer coup with former France captain Laurent Koscielny signing from EPL giants Arsenal on a €5m deal. Meanwhile goalkeeping sensation Edouard Mendy left Reims for Rennes.
Girondins de Bordeaux have added a heavyweight name to their squad just days before the beginning of the Ligue 1 Conforama season. The south-western club landed former France central defender Laurent Koscielny (51 caps, 1 goal), who had been with Arsenal for the past nine years. He will wear the number six jersey for Les Girondins.
Ligue 1 Conforama return
The native of Tulle in central France, who played 41 games for EA Guingamp (41 games in Domino's Ligue 2 between 2004 and 2007) and Tours FC (34 games, five goals in Domino's Ligue 2), had played in Ligue 1 Conforama during his only season at FC Lorient in the 2009-10 campaign (35 games, three goals).
In his nine seasons with Arsenal, he won the FA Cup (2014, 2015 and 2017) and Community Shield (2014, 2015 and 2017) three times, and was a finalist in the UEFA Europa League last season. Now retired from international duties, Koscielny notably played in the blue jersey of France for the Euro 2016 final against eventual winners Portugal.
Mendy arrives to shore up Rennes' rearguard
Star 'keeper Edouard Mendy (27) has left Stade de Reims for Stade Rennais FC. The Brittany club announced the deal on Tuesday, the Senegal international - a native of Normandy - signing a four-year deal with Julien Stéphan's side that will link him to the club through to 2023.
"I am very happy to be joining Stade Rennais," explained the former Marseille reserve-team glovesman, who will wear the number 16 jersey. "This is the culmination of a long process with the President. Rennes is an ambitious but humble club that gives itself the means to achieve its goals - as evidenced by the Coupe de France win and the extraordinary European campaign. I heard nothing but good things about the club before I arrived. I was also able to check out the stadium and training facilities, which are of an excellent standard. I am really looking forward to being part of this adventure."
Létang: 'Demonstrate all his qualities'
Following Czech 'keeper Tomas Koubek's departure for Augsburg, Rennes spent around €4 million (excluding bonuses) to recruit Edouard Mendy, who in turn will be replaced in the Reims squad by Serbian 'keeper Predrag Rajkovic.
"We are delighted to welcome Edouard and are very happy that he has chosen Stade Rennais FC after the fantastic season he had with Stade de Reims," said Rennes president Olivier Létang. "After having experienced difficult moments in his career, he was able to demonstrate all his qualities at the very highest level. It seemed impossible for Edouard to join us a few weeks ago, but it has finally come true. His values are very much in line with those of the club. I would like to thank [Reims president] Jean-Pierre Caillot and [Reims director] Didier Perrin for their collaboration in making this operation possible. I also have a thought for Tomas, who went to the Bundesliga, and I would like to thank him for his two years of contributing to the club's good results and always being a great professional."