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Valencia draft in Rennes defender

Valencia CF have completed the transfer of defender Anthony Réveillère from Stade Rennais FC.

Summer switch
Réveillère moves to the Mestalla stadium on an initial six-month loan, in exchange for a fee in the region of €1m. However, the Spanish champions are expected to make the 23-year-old a permanent €5m signing in the summer when the player should put pen to paper a two-year contract with the option of a third term. "I am very happy to be a Valencia player," he said.

Sad farewell
Réveillère, whose farewell Ligue 1 appearance for Rennes last night ended in defeat against SC Bastia, is due to arrive in Valencia later today. "It is a pity to leave after a result like that," he said, "but I'll never forget what Rennes have done for me." In all, the Douè-la-Fontaine-born defender played 140 times for the club.

Home debut
Today's official announcement brings an end to days of negotiations between officials from both teams. "We hope to introduce him on Friday morning and he could play on Saturday," a Valencia spokesman said. Réveillère, who can operate anywhere down the right flank, could make his debut in Sunday's home league game against Sevilla FC.

European prospect
A finalist with France at the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, he will also be eligible for Valencia's remaining matches in the UEFA Champions League when that competition resumes next month. Rafa Benítez's men lie third in their second group stage section, Group B, with four games to play starting with the trip to AS Roma on 18 February.