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Monaco make double swoop

AS Monaco FC have signed midfielder Gerard López and striker Toifilou Maoulida on free transfers.

AS Monaco FC further strengthened their squad on Wednesday ahead of a possible UEFA Champions League campaign next season when they completed the signings of FC Barcelona midfielder Gerard López and striker Toifilou Maoulida from Stade Rennais FC on free transfers.

López signing
Gerard signed a four-year deal after passing a medical on Wednesday. The 26-year-old Spanish international, who would have been out of contract at the end of the month, is a product of Barça's youth set-up and was once considered one of Spain's brightest prospects in midfield.

Injury problems
In 1997 he signed for Valencia CF with whom he won the Spanish Super Cup in 1999 before playing in the UEFA Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid CF the following year. He returned to Barça in 2000 for €16m but his time back at the Nou Camp has been hampered by injury.

Limited opportunities
Gerard, who has won six caps for Spain, had surgery on a groin injury last November and played only 13 league games for Barça this season. The signing of PSV Eindhoven's Mark van Bommel looked likely to further restrict his appearances at the Nou Camp.

Impressive season
Maoulida, 25, has agreed a four-year contract with Monaco after helping Rennes qualify for the UEFA Cup for the first time this season. He scored seven goals in 31 Ligue 1 appearances as Rennes pipped Marseille to fourth place.

Very happy’
"I feel very happy to have signed for one of the best sides in Europe, with the chance to play under one of the best coaches, Didier Deschamps," said the former French Under-21 international.

New signings
Monaco have also tied up deals for Maoulida's Rennes team-mate Olivier Sorlin and BV Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Guillaume Warmuz as Deschamps strenghtens his squad ahead of their Champions League third-qualifying round tie at the end of August.