Marseille have completed the signing of Nice striker Loic Remy on a five-year deal.
The Mediterranean side earlier confirmed they had reached an agreement in principle with their local rivals and after passing a medical on Thursday afternoon, Remy signed on the dotted line for the Ligue 1 champions.
Remy, 23, will step into the shoes vacated by Mamadou Niang, inheriting his number 11 shirt following the Senegalese striker's move to Fenerbahce. The player, who joins Marseille for a fee in the region of €15m, recently travelled to Stoke for talks over a move but they came to nothing.
Coach Didier Deschamps had been chasing Sevilla's Luis Fabiano but was put off by the prohibitive sums involved. "In as far as the expectations of the public are concerned I'd hoped to bring in a striker of international calibre like Fabiano," he told Experts OM. "But when I was told about the figures being spoken about I cannot ask the club to buy whatever the cost. I don't have the right to ask that. If the price is not reasonable, then stop."
Coach Deschamps said of his new recruit: "He is a young international with great potential. He has great qualities and also great room for improvement. He can play in all of the attacking positions and I expect him to be effective and score goals. His versatility is a good thing, even if he prefers one position. It will create competition for places, but it does not hurt. He has speed and power which make him dangerous for opposing defences."
Remy could make his debut against Lorient on Saturday if the paperwork is cleared in time. He told L'Equipe when the deal was agreed: "I am very pleased and proud that Marseille are interested in me. After waiting so long for a transfer, everything has accelerated very quickly. I'm surprised. I need time to think but I am committed (to moving)."
Remy has emerged as the hottest prospect in France after impressing at Nice following a switch from Lyon in 2008. He has scored 26 goals in 68 games for the club and played a key part in establishing them as a Ligue 1 outfit.
Marseille are also interested in Toulouse striker Andre-Pierre Gignac but his current club have denied receiving an offer for the France international. A Toulouse statement this morning read: "Contrary to reports in the media last night, Toulouse have not received an offer from Marseille for Andre-Pierre Gignac."