Erding makes Rennes switch
Despite interest from Lille, Everton and Galatasaray, Turkey international striker Mevlut Erding has opted to pursue his career with Rennes, leaving PSG on a three-and-a-half-year deal worth €8 million.
While most of PSG's transfer action since the Qatari takeover has involved big names coming in, on Wednesday Erding became the first high-profile exit from the Parc des Princes when an agreement was reached for the striker to join Ligue 1 rivals Rennes on a contract running until 2015.
'My situation had become difficult'
After arriving at Paris Saint-Germain from Sochaux in 2009 as one of the form strikers In Ligue 1, Erding has struggled for game time this season, both under Antoine Kombouaré and new coach Carlo Ancelotti, who has given little indication - other than a 28-minute Coupe de France substitute stint in the 2-1 round-of-64 win over fifth-division side Locminé - that the player would be part of his plans.
So, after a tough first half of the season that also saw Erding miss out on Euro 2012 as Turkey fell to Croatia in a finals play-off, the 24-year-old is looking to revive his fortunes in Brittany, where he was impressed by coach Frédéric Antonetti's plans to the point of spurning interest from French champions Lille, Premier League side Everton and Turkish giants Galatasaray.
'Show what I'm worth'
"I'll always have good memories of my time in Paris, but it's true that my situation had become difficult," admitted Erding. "But now I just want to show what I'm worth. I've come to an ambitious club that keeps making progress year after year. I had offers from overseas, and it's true I could have earned more money there, but I decided to give priority to the sporting side of things."
He will have the perfect chance to impress his new boss from the get-go with attackers Youssouf Hadji (Morocco) and Jonathan Pitroipa (Burkina Faso) on national team duty at AFCON and Abdoulrazak Boukari out injured as Rennes look to maintain their winning form (four wins in all competitions) and keep direct rivals Marseille at bay on Sunday.
Antonetti: 'A real plus'
However, Antonetti has no doubts that the value Erding brings to the side will not be diminished when his other stars return to action.
"His arrival really bolsters our squad, he's a real plus," the Rennes boss told newspaper Ouest France. "He's a very special player; he's complete. He makes excellent runs and creates a lot of chances for himself. He just needs to rediscover the confidence he has lost, and get back into his rhythm. When all the lads are back, the competition for a starting place will be fierce, but I think that [Victor-Hugo] Montaño, Erding and Hadji are players who can work well together."