RC Lens have filled the gap left by Grégory Vignal's temporary departure for 1. FC Kaiserslautern by signing left-back Damien Tixier, while also signing playmaker Olivier Monterrubio and loaning forward Jussie to fellow UEFA Cup contenders FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
Frenchman Tixier, 26, will spend the rest of the season at Lens with the option of a permanent two-year deal should all go to plan. The defender has been in Portuguese football since 2000, most recently at UD Leiria for the past two campaigns. "I was born in France and have my family over here," he said. "I absolutely wanted to play in Ligue 1."
The midfield is bolstered by the arrival of 30-year-old Monterrubio from Stade Rennais FC, meanwhile. The 30-year-old arrives at Lens on a one-and-a-half year deal that sees Olivier Thomert move in the opposite direction. "Rennes will remain in my heart," said Monterrubio. "You don't write five years off easily. But I needed a new challenge and Lens can offer that to me." Thomert, 26, has agreed a three-and-a-half year contract to replace him at Rennes.
The 23-year-old Brazilian Jussie, meanwhile, goes to Bordeaux for the remainder of the campaign, having scored 13 goals in 68 league games for Lens following his transfer from Cruzeiro EC in 2004. Lens will face Panathinaikos FC over two legs next month for a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, with Bordeaux taking on CA Osasuna at the same stage.
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