Borussia Mönchengladbach have made their fifth signing of the summer, with Alassane Pléa joining from OGC Nice.
The French striker has joined for a club-record reported fee of €23 million, and has signed a contract with the Bundesliga club to 2023.
His arrival comes on the same day that Danish defender Jannik Vestergaard left the club to join Premier League club Southampton.
A successful season with Nice
After spells with Olympique Lyonnais and AJ Auxerre, having played just a handful of games at both, the 25-year-old established himself at Nice in a four-year spell, the latter two years of which were under the guidance of former Foals coach (and now-Borussia Dortmund manager) Lucien Favre.
Pléa scored a total of 36 goals in 112 Ligue 1 appearances for the club, also contributing 22 assists. His most productive campaign is the one just gone, as he hit the back of the net 16 times helping Nice to an eighth-place finish.
The forward, who can play on either wing as well as up front, also had international experience at youth level, although he was capped just once by France under-21s. He has not yet received recognition at full international level.
Eberl happy to beat other top clubs to signing
“We’re extremely glad that this transfer has gone through,” said Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl on the club’s website, adding that they had beaten “competition from various other well-known clubs” and that Pléa had “wanted to come to Borussia at all costs.”
Gladbach coach Dieter Hecking will be hoping that Pléa can finally give him an out-and-out centre forward to provide support in the goals department for Raffael and Lars Stindl. Eberl believes that he is “a versatile, quick and clever forward,” clearly confident he is just the man they have been looking for.
He will fill the void left by Raúl Bobadilla, who’s joined Argentinos Juniors in Argentina, with Vestergaard and Vincenzo Grifo having also left this summer. Full-backs Andreas Poulsen and Michael Lang, plus young midfielder Keanan Bennetts, are the club’s other new signings so far.
Quotes via Borussia Mönchengladbach.