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Stade Rennais is preparing to return to competition with high ambitions

Two and a half months after snatching fourth place in added time at Lille, Stade Rennais returns to Ligue 1 this Sunday (5 p.m.) against Lorient at Roazhon Park. After a historic season in terms of the show offered by the Bretons, the club wants to be ambitious to continue to grow.

“Do better than last season”

The thinking heads of the Rennes sports sector have both used the same formula in recent weeks to present the ambitions of Stade Rennais: for Bruno Genesio and Florian Maurice, “we will have to do better than last season“. What to aim for, without naming it, a podium at the end of the season. Last year, the Rennais had failed three points from third place, and five from second, despite twelve defeats on the clock.

It is on this point that the Rennais will have to progress: transform frustrating defeats into draws, while maintaining the offensive animation which has been their strength, with 82 goals scored in the championships, and 101 over the whole season. To do this, the priorities of the transfer window concerned the defensive sector at the start of the transfer window.

An exciting transfer window so far, but far from over

Starting with the keeper. The coach and his staff felt that Alfred Gomis had brought them too few points last season to continue the adventure with the Senegalese in number 1. The 37-year-old world champion Steve Mandanda was recruited at the beginning of July, with as its main mission to achieve the decisive stops that its predecessor had not been able to bring in important moments.

Ahead of him, the main project for the month of July concerned the hinge: with the departure of Nayef Aguerd for West Ham for €35m, combined with the injury (pubalgia) for three months of Warmed Omari, Rennes had a new defensive axis to build . On the preparation, only Loïc Badé could be considered as a future holder, while the young Guéla Doué, Noah Françoise and Jeanuël Belocian succeeded each other in central defense, in what looked more like DIY than long-term solutions, despite the potential of the three players from the training center.

After having spent by his own admission too much time and energy on the Kim-Min-jae case, who finally chose Naples, Florian Maurice came up against Benfica’s refusal to sell the Brazilian Morato. The sports director of Stade Rennais has fallen back on the Belgian Arthur Theate (22), snatched from Bologna for 20M€ and on the Welshman Joe Rodon (24), who arrives from Tottenham on loan with an option to buy. Two arrivals recorded just in time for the resumption of the championship, but who will have to quickly adapt and deal with competition from Loïc Badé, who intends to win after a complicated first season in Brittany.

Hamari Traoré and Benjamin Bourigeaud are still not set on their future © Maxppp
Philippe RENAULT/PHOTOPQR/Ouest-France

If Stade Rennais still intends to recruit two players (a powerful and technical midfielder as well as a complete striker), the hot issues at the end of the summer also concern departures. The two most important executives of the team, Hamari Traoré and Benjamin Bourigeaud are out of contract in less than a year. According to L’Equipe, the Malian would now be closer to staying than leaving. As for Benjamin Bourigeaud, who has an extension offer with a significant salary increase, he would still favor a departure according to our information, even if the offers are not jostling for the midfielder despite the exceptional season (11 goals and 13 assists in Ligue 1) from which he comes out in the Rennes jersey. At a press conference this Wednesday, Florian Maurice recalled that the two players “are still under contract for a year“. And to conclude: “from the moment we start the championship, we will finish it together.“A form of pressure to convince the players to extend to Rennes?

Finally, in terms of possible departures, Rennes’ top scorer last season Martin Terrier would arouse interest in the Premier League, as would Kamaldeen Sulemana. Serhou Guirassy would arouse the interest of Julien Stéphan’s Strasbourg, who had recruited him from Rennes. Mathys Tel left the club for good to join Bayern Muncih for €30m, a record amount for a player under 18.

August will be hot. In terms of the calendar, Stade Rennais will have three affordable receptions (Lorient, Ajaccio and Brest) and two complicated trips (Monaco and Lens) to assert themselves as a serious contender for the podium from the start of this new season.

The results of Stade Rennais in preparation

  • 1-0 defeat in Freiburg (Germany) on July 16
  • Victory 2-1 (Terrier 39th, Thomas CSC 40th) in Caen on July 20
  • Victory 3-2 (Bourigeaud 5th, Laborde 55th, Majer 58th) in Augsburg (Germany) on July 23
  • Victory 1-0 (Guirassy 49th) in Saint-Nazaire against FC Nantes on July 27
  • 2-1 loss (Theate 7th) against Aston Villa at Roazhon Park on July 30

The movements of the off-season

The arrivals

  • Steve Mandanda (OM), free
  • Arthur Theate (Bologna), €20m
  • Joe Rodon (Tottenham), loan with option to buy


  • Nayef Aguerd (West Ham), €35m
  • Mathys Tel (Bayern Munich), €20m
  • Jérémy Gélin, end of contract
  • Jonas Martin, end of contract
  • James Léa-Siliki (Estoril), free
  • Andy Diouf (FC Basel), loan with option to buy
  • Pepe Bonet, end of contract


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