Paris Saint-Germain secured the first major coup of the Ligue 1 summer transfer window today by completing the signing of French international striker Kevin Gameiro from Lorient on a four-year deal. Gameiro, who was the second highest scorer in the French top flight last season with 22 goals, signed for a reported fee of €11m ($15.8m) plus add-ons.
The 24-year-old, who has scored one goal in five international appearances for France, is PSG's second summer signing after the arrival of goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez from Rennes. Gameiro had been close to a move to Valencia, who first declared an interest in the player during the January transfer window.
However, PSG's recent takeover by a Qatari investment company enabled the club from the French capital to put together a sufficiently attractive package to convince Gameiro to reconsider his long-held desire to play in Spain.
However, the in-form striker was thrilled to have joined his childhood team. "I'm very happy, very proud," he told www.psg.fr. "This club is in my area. My family and my friends are here. I also always wanted to play at the Parc des Princes. To score goals in this stadium is fantastic.
"I attended several matches with my father [as a youngster]. It was very nice and PSG had a big team. I loved [former PSG forward] Marco Simone. I told my parents that one day I'll be at his place and I will achieve this next season.
"I liked his style. He was a true striker with a real sense of purpose. PSG is a club I greatly appreciate. I have supported PSG since my childhood. There is a great project here."
The former Strasbourg man insisted that the promise of UEFA Europa League football had not been a factor in his decision to join Antoine Kombouare's side.
"No. I thought a lot and saw things in perspective," he said. "I chose PSG because it is a big French club. I think next year we can have a great season. And PSG is the club in my heart."
Gameiro will not have to wait long to be reunited with his former team-mates, with Lorient due to visit Paris on the opening weekend of the new campaign. "This is a very important game because it will get things started," he said. "It will be my first game at the Parc des Princes... I hope I will play! It will be a pleasure to face my Lorient friends."
PSG president Robin Leproux was equally delighted with his club's acquisition. He said: "The arrival of Kevin has been studied for several months by all teams.
"This is a purchase which I personally wanted. It was not easy because clubs like Valencia were interested. Today, it is great to see Kevin walk onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes. His signing was a priority."