Corchia to Lille, De Melo to Evian
Highly-rated right-back Sébastien Corchia has left Sochaux on a four-and-a-half-year deal with Lille, while Brazilian striker Tulio De Melo has left Les Dogues to start afresh on a six-month deal with Evian TG FC.
Corchia has long been considered one of the best young prospects in the French game, and on Wednesday the young man who has captained France at every youth level took the next step in his career by signing a long-term contract with Lille that ties him to the currently third-placed club until 2018.
Playing for a side contesting the top places rather than one consistently battling relegation will make a change for the 23-year-old, but the talented right-sided Corchia - who can play as a wing-back or wide midfielder, and who boasts particular talent from free-kicks - should get the game time he needs to settle in quickly given the long-term injury to first-choice right-back Franck Béria.
"I'm sincerely thrilled to be here," said Corchia at his presentation. "What's more, I've had a chance to visit the training facilities here, and I could see right away that everything is at the highest level. I'm thrilled to arrive here at LOSC. I'm young and I still have time to put in the hard work and improve."
De Melo turns the page
Meanwhile, as Corchia arrived in Lille, the tall figure of Tulio De Melo was on its way out, the Brazilian striker having opted to annul his contract with northern club in a bid to find regular game time with 17th-placed Evian. De Melo has made just one start in his five league appearances under new coach René Girard and felt it was time to move on.
"I'd like to thank the LOSC president [Michel Seydoux] for the years I spent with Lille," said the 28-year-old, whose five-and-a-half seasons with club included being part of Rudi Garcia's title winning squad in 2010-11. "I would also like to thank my new coach, Pascal Dupraz, for his faith in me. His philosophy was a fundamental part of why I decided to come here. Physically I feel great, even though I'm lacking rhythm. Fighting for Ligue 1 survival doesn't scare me. It's a real challenge and I'll give my all to help pull it off."
De Melo could make his debut for Evian as soon as this weekend's clash at home to Ajaccio, where he and his new teammates have a chance to put some distance between them and 18th-placed Valenciennes, who currently trail by just three points, and with a superior goal difference.