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'The player Ancelotti wanted' - Bayern Munich break Bundesliga transfer record

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of French midfielder Corentin Tolisso from Olympique Lyonnais. The 22-year-old has signed a record-breaking five-year deal with the Bundesliga champions.

Bayern Munich have broken the Bundesliga transfer record with the signing of French midfielder Corentin Tolisso from Lyon for 41.5 million euros ($46.2 million), rising to 47.5 million with bonuses and exceeding the estimated 40 million euros paid to Athletic Club Bilbao for defender Javi Martinez in 2012.

Tolisso also becomes the most expensive player Lyon have ever sold, earning the seven-time French champions 3.5 million euros more than the estimated 38 million received from Chelsea for Michael Essien in 2005. 

'An exceptional player'

Fußballspieler Corentin Tolisso (picture-alliance/Ansa/A. Di Marco)

Corentin Tolisso in action for Lyon in the Champions League

The 2017 Bundesliga champions were able to beat off competition from abroad to land the highly rated 22-year-old, who contributed 14 goals and seven assists in 47 appearances for Lyon last season; no other central midfielder in any of Europe's top five leagues scored more.

His impressive form saw him make his international debut for France against Spain in March and he had been contracted to stay in Lyon until 2020 - hence the high price to prize him away from the Parc OL. 

"Corentin is an exceptional player and without doubt one of the best midfielders on the continent, but also a man with great personality," said Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas. "It's a big and emotional loss for OL, but we are also proud to see one of our academy players join one of the best clubs in Europe."

"I had a wonderful time at Lyon, and I'm very grateful for that," said Tolisso in an official statement released by Bayern. "Now I'm really pleased to be at one of the best clubs in Europe. I have set myself some huge goals at FC Bayern. Today is a great day for me."

Ancelotti gets his man

Corentin Tolisso (Imago/PanoramiC)

Tolisso on the ball against Ajax in last season's Europa League

In the same statement, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge described Tolisso as a "young and highly interesting player" and said he was "the player [coach] Carlo Ancelotti wanted for our midfield" - an area which requires strengthening following the retirement of Xabi Alonso and the failure of Portuguese teenager Renato Sanchez to make an impact thus far.

Tolisso is the latest signing in what has already been a busy summer for the 27-time German champions, fresh from their fifth consecutive Bundesliga title. They had already confirmed the recruitment of Hoffenheim stars Niklas Süle (20 million euros) and Sebastian Rudy (free) before the end of the season and also completed the signing of Werder Bremen striker Serge Gnabry for 10 million euros.

In addition, Tolisso's compatriot Kingsley Coman has had his loan deal from Juventus made permanent. 

For Lyon, who finished fourth in Ligue 1 last season, another rebuilding job is in order. Midfielder Mathieu Valbuena has also left "Les Gones" to join Turkish side Fenerbahce, while coveted striker Alexandre Lacazette is also expected to leave. 

mf/msh (AFP, SID)

 

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