Cameroon international Stéphane Mbia has returned to French football six years after leaving Olympique de Marseille, signing for Toulouse FC on a one-year deal.
"I wanted to come back to France. It was my priority," Mbia said in an interview with Toulouse's official website after putting pen to paper on a one-year deal at Le Stadium.
He described himself as "a guy who is hungry" on his return to Europe from Hebei China Fortune. Now 32, the imposing defender-cum-midfielder left Marseille for Queens Park Rangers in 2012 before moving on to Sevilla and then Trabzonspor.
Mbia revealed that new Toulouse coach Alain Casanova got the lowdown on him from the Cameroonian's former boss in China, Manuel Pellegrini. But Mbia's track record speaks for itself - after starting out at Stade Rennais FC, he went on to win the Ligue 2 title at OM in 2010 and also won three Coupes de la Ligue in his time at the Vélodrome. He also won two Europa Leagues at Sevilla.
He is the ninth new signing made by Toulouse this summer and his arrival will help fill the void left by Issa Diop, the centre-back who was sold to West Ham United for €25 million in June.