Nice, France, Aug 7 – Wesley Sneijder completed his free transfer to Nice on Monday as the Ligue 1 club secured yet another star name.
Following the signing of France international Hatem Ben Arfa two years ago and Italian bad boy Mario Balotelli last season, unfashionable Nice have done it again to secure the services of another marquee signing.
“Nice can count a third Champions League winner in our squad after Dante and Mario Balotelli,” said the club.
“Having arrived on the Cote d’Azur on Sunday night, Wesley Sneijder is an Eaglet after passing Monday’s medical exam.”
Nice have made a habit of securing eye-catching acquisitions with Brazilian Dante, who won the Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2013, and Moroccan playmaker Younes Belhanda both joining last summer.
Belhanda was on a year-long loan and returned to Dynamo Kiev at the end of last season before moving on to Galatasaray, to replace the departing Sneijder.
The Dutchman, his country’s all-time record caps holder with 131, won the Champions League alongside Balotelli under Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan in 2010.
He is Nice’s fifth summer recruit, although they have also seen a few players leave with more still coveted by richer clubs.
The 33-year-old Snejider has won league titles in four different countries having started his career at Ajax and moved on to Real Madrid, before joining Inter and then Galatasaray.
His signing is a huge boost for Nice, who finished third last year and face a two-legged play-off with Napoli later this month to earn qualification for the Champions League group stages.
Meanwhile, Nice also signed French youth international Allan Saint-Maximin from champions Monaco on Monday after he passed his medical exam.
Nice did not reveal the fee paid for the 20-year-old, who made his Ligue 1 debut for Saint-Etienne as a 16-year-old, but had reportedly baulked at an asking price of 10-12 million euros.
He only made his Monaco league debut as a substitute in Friday’s 3-2 win over Toulouse having spent the previous two seasons since joining from St Etienne on loan at first Hannover in Germany and then last year at Bastia.
Brazilian Dalbert and Frenchman Valentin Eysseric are both expected to leave Nice soon for Serie A clubs — Inter Milan and Fiorentina respectively.
Centre-back Paul Baysse has already joined Malaga in Spain with right-back Ricardo Pereira returning to Porto following a loan spell.