She will wear the number 30, her favorite number that she has worn so often at OM and even at the Crystal Palace. Arriving at the Stade Rennais a few days ago, Steve Mandanda spoke without batting an eyelid this Monday in front of the press. Excluded from the competition of Pau Lopez, the one who had played since 2007 in Marseille has chosen to leave his cocoon in the Var to move to Brittany for two seasons. A new challenge for the 37-year-old goalkeeper, the player with the most appearances in the history of Olympique de Marseille. “It’s a considered choice. The first contacts took place at the end of the season. I got on well with Flo [Florian Maurice, le directeur technique rennais] and I talked a lot with the coach. It wasn’t an easy choice, but I was sure it was the right time. That it was time for me to change, “said the 2018 world champion.

Before accepting the Rennes offer, the emblematic OM goalkeeper thought about it for a long time. He also had to discuss this sudden departure with his wife and family after fifteen years in Marseille. “My family comes to Rennes,” said the doorman, a little embarrassed by a colleague’s question. And the rumor of the Pinault family’s private jet loan to visit their children? “This is false information,” Steve Mandanda replied with a smile.

“Finding a Way Out” by Alfred Gomis

If the tricolor goalkeeper has agreed to come to Rennes, it is above all “to play”. The club is very ambitious, they want to go high. I’m here to help him achieve his goals. Last season, Stade Rennais completed the exercise in 4th place after a crazy year at attacking level and will play in the Europa League next season. “We want to maintain this ambition to score many goals, to have an attacking game plan. But we also want to gain stability. You can’t lose twelve times in one season. Steve, we need you to bring us what you brought to OM, ”explained Florian Maurice.

Having lost Nayef Aguerd to West Ham, Stade Rennais is also expected to split from Alfred Gomis. The club has told their goalkeeper not to count on him for next season. Without being ridiculous, the one who took over from his compatriot Edouard Mendy was not decisive enough in the eyes of his leaders. “It’s not easy for him. The goal is to find a way out for him “, acknowledged the technical director. Always looking for one or two central defenders, the club has put the Umtiti file on standby and is still active in the recruitment of the team. Brazilian Morato (Benfica) and South Korean Kim Min-Jae (Fenerbahçe).


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