Rennes has formalized the signing of Xeka (27), free since leaving Lille last summer. The Portuguese makes up for the long absence of Baptiste Santamaria, seriously injured in an ankle.
Rennes has its reinforcement in midfield. As announced in recent days, Xeka (27) is committed to the Breton club on Wednesday. He was free (which allowed his recruitment outside the transfer window) since the end of his contract at Lille last summer and signed up for two years. The Breton club quickly went in search of reinforcements to make up for the long absence of Baptiste Santamaria, victim of a complete tearing of the ligaments of his left ankle. He was injured during the match against Auxerre (5-0) on September 11 and will have to undergo an operation. He will be away from the field between four and five months.
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Bruno Genesio, the coach, and Florian Maurice, sporting director, had decided to wait for the international truce to act on the arrival of Xeka. In the meantime, the young Lesley Ugochukwu (18) had acted as interim. Xeka, launched in Braga, arrives with great experience after making a name for itself in France in Lille, which he joined on loan in January 2017 before officially committing there six months later. He had been loaned to Dijon during his first season before winning in the midfield of Losc.
“I feel very good”
In the North, he participated in the beautiful second place of Lille in 2019, but especially in the title of champion of France in 2021, ahead of PSG. He also acquired great experience in Europe (10 Champions League matches). A doubt exists on his state of form since he has not played since last April. “I feel very good, he named on the club website. I trained every day.”
He already met his new partners this Wednesday morning, including goalkeeper Romain Salin, who passed through the Portuguese championship (Naval, Maritimo, Rio Ave and Sporting Portugal), with whom he exchanged a few words in Portuguese. He is now planning his return to competition.
“I want to play as soon as possible because it’s been a few months since I played in competition, he recalls. I trained even if we know that it does not replace the matches. I want to give my all to be 1000% as soon as possible.” He could take his first steps in his new colors on October 1 in Strasbourg (5 p.m., 9th day of Ligue 1). He will then return to Roazhon Park (against Nantes), where he scored last season with Lille.