Nantes: 'Become a top 10 side' with Halilhodzic
FC Nantes deputy general manager Franck Kita gave an update before the start of Les Canaris' 2019-2020 season, confirming Vahid Halilhodzic in the position of head coach.
As FC Nantes get set to start their pre-season preparations, Franck Kita - son of club owner and president Waldemar Kita - broached a number of hot topics, including the potential sale of the club and the decision to tick with coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who took the reins in September 2018 after a rough start under Portuguese boss Miguel Cardoso.
Sale of the club
"We've always been very careful. And today, I can tell you that the process is definitely over. There have always been offers to buy the club, because football is attractive, because TV rights will increase and because Nantes has an incredible French football heritage. But we are responsible leaders. The 2019-2020 season is now launched, and everything to do with a sale has stopped."
Vahid to stay
"We were very happy that Vahid Halilhodzic came in September to get us out of the mess with the players. He works very well and we have had good results. Of course he will be there in the dugout in Lille [on the opening day of the 2019-20 Ligue 1 Conforama season]. The coach has one year left on his contract, so we'll have to take stock at the end of the season. If the objectives are met, there is no reason for the adventure to stop.
"He is a professional, demanding coach. Everywhere he has been, he has got results. Whether there was some tension on one side or the other last season, it's completely normal with what happened. The holidays have been good for us; new blood is coming. Vahid is rested and is in great shape, like the rest of us. We're going to have a good season."
Transfers: The arrivals
"We're heading into a new season, with new recruits coming in. There have already been two [Dennis Appiah and Bridge Ndilu] and there will be another one this weekend. This is only the beginning of the transfer window. But we're not looking to bring in 10 players and overhaul the squad; we have faith in our youngsters, with a coach who knows the club's DNA and is adept at bringing young talent to the highest level."
Top 10 dream
Transfers: The departures
"We have had approaches for a number of players because we have a quality squad. The players who left, we didn't want to keep them. The only departure, which has been agreed to by the coach, is Diego Carlos. Valentin Rongier? The door is only partly open. He is an ambitious lad, who had a good season last year, and we would like to keep him. He will not go anywhere and we will not let him go anywhere. There is no discontent, he is very happy to be here. Majeed Waris? We had a little negotiation. But by mutual agreement with the coach, we could not go any further in the negotiations."
"We want to carve out a place for ourselves in the top 10. The objective is necessarily to do better than in previous seasons. The Coupe de France is also an objective the club holds dear."