SeasonEight.EpisodeOne | Pré-saison
Well… Things have changed quite a bit at Parc de la Guérinais. Read on to find out how my FM20 Stade Rennais save is going.
Manchester United decided that they would make Schmitt a top target. Other players also though that they had achieved all they could and would rather leave for no Champions League football than fight another season. it’s a summer of change at Stade Rennais, so strap yourselves in.
June 2026 – August 2026
It was a bit of a chaotic transfer window, we had around €300M available to spend with the Ênio money and some other sales, but I didn’t want to spend big on ready made players just yet, so it was business as usual in terms of signing young players for the future. The only difference now is we have more money to buy more players and people knew we had it.
THE TRANSFER WINDOW
Here are our summer transfers in and out of Stade Rennais.
Stade Rennais Transfers in
First up, the players I have brought into the club this window. I didn’t want to bring through so many as Stade Rennais are excellent at producing youth players, but we got a little carried away.
IN | Nei | €24M from Gremio
I needed a left-back since we went the whole season with just Greg Taylor playing there and Nei was available AND could play on either side, so a bonus two-in-one signing.
His potential development might be hindered slightly by his two footedness, but I’m hoping he can turn into a world-class full-back for us. Already valued at €40M I’m sure he’s going to turn into a fantastic player.
IN | Maxence Baptiste | €17.75M from Nice
If his name in black didn’t give it away then this signing probably will do. Grey Taylor left us soon after the Nei signing, so I needed another left-back. I had seen Baptiste before but didn’t have the funds to sign him so we never made a move, however, with the riches we had I asked Begiristain to get him for me and get him he did.
Another player whose value instantly rose. Him and Nei will have that side covered for years.
IN | Agustín Acosta | €11M from San Lorenzo
Okay so we’ve gone a bit bonkers on left backs but Acosta will go to Mainz on loan for the season. This signing was made at the end of the window after right-back Abrigo started making noises about wanting to move to a bigger club. Since Nei can play on the right I figured Acosta should be able to come into the team next season if Abrigo leaves and we need to move Nei to the right.
IN | Pablo Vega | €10M from Valez
A lot of defenders coming in this window and Pablo Vega will join the crop of very talented youngsters we have here. I needed some backup after Mari left following his contract expiring. He’s tall which is what I like from a central defender. We just need to work on getting him up to standard before he starts making moves in the first team.
IN | Victor Chernyavskiy | €30.5M from Rostov
I tried to sign Chernyavkiy last season but we didn’t have the funds needed to acquire him. My scouts think he’s going to be a special player so we took the plunge this summer with the extra money we had available.
He was a lot of cash, but hopefully he can prove to be worth it.
IN | Célio Juliano | €16.25M from Flamengo
I couldn’t let this opportunity pass us by. Célio is a top prospect and my scouts think he’s going to be a very good player in a few years. He will train in the Advanced Playmaker position in CM. I’m super excited to see how he does. He will head out on loan to Montpellier for this season.
During the transfer window I was chasing two dutch players who my scouts think could be the best two midfielders in world football in a couple of years. Bids were declined and I had given up hope of signing them. On deadline day, with just a couple of hours to go we decided to go back in for them to see if we might force a different outcome…
IN | Rutger Klompe | €27M from FM Emmen
Looking at the player DNA (the chart on the right of the player profile), he has excellent technique and high decision making. At 18 years old he has a lot of development ahead of him, but he will be in and around the first team squad getting games and developing with this squad.
IN | Jordy Verbeek | €59M from Ajax
You will know that I don’t handle my transfers. Txiki Begiristain does all the transfers here so the fee paid for this kid was out of my hands. However, he is someone I desperately wanted. I haven’t quite decided what I want to do with him yet, but my initial thoughts are to drop him back into DM as my Deep Lying Playmaker.
Stade Rennais Transfers out
Another transfer window and more stars leaving the nest…
OUT | Andreas Pereira | €6.75M to Southampton
For some reason Andreas didn’t fancy Champions League football with Stade Rennais next season so he left to go to West Ham. We wish him well. He was a bargain and played a big part is some of our success. A great professional.
OUT | Greg Taylor | €66M to PSG
Paris Saint-Germain are like the kid brother who just wants everything you have. They cannot let me have anything good without wanting it for themselves. Top assister last season, Greg Taylor joins the list of players who kicked up a fuss when they couldn’t move to PSG. So off he went.
OUT | Gilles Schmitt | €150M to Manchester United
I kinda feel like we could have got more than the €150M we got, but it is still a crazy amount of money for a single player. When we put that with the Ênio money from January, it gives us a huge financial boost and sets us up for years to come. His fee alone payed for nearly all our transfers this window and 10,000 additional seats to go into the stadium.
Au revoir. You will always be a legend to the Stade Rennais faithful.
PRESEASON 2026 RESULTS
Tactically, I changed things up a little bit ahead of the new season and the results are promising from the preseason games.
I want us to be more aggressive and in the face of the opposition. I’ve switched the team mentality from Balanced to Attacking and started to use Inside Forwards rather than Inverted Wingers as they a) have more of an attacking mentality then Inverted Wingers, and they’re more direct in their running and final position.
I found that they’re more likely to get on a cross in the box and also more likely to be the one driving into the box from the wings rather than moving more laterally and feeding balls through the centre.
It’s early days, but the signs are good. It’s quite a big change from last season but I want to dominate games in the opposition half more and this should help.
Another season and another early match against PSG. This time, we managed to get the better of them and their new signing Greg Taylor!
We always seem to do really well at the start of the season. We always hit the ground running. I like to think this is down to the meticulous planning and preparations during preseason, which you can read about here, if you haven’t already.
We couldn’t have really done any better. We’ve been solid defensively again, despite our keeper getting injured for six weeks at the start of the season with a broken wrist. Sabiá has come into his own on the left wing and is relishing his new role as an Inside Forward. He has four goals already.
With Ayari the senior striker now, I was hoping he might have featured amongst the goals already, but he is being shown up by 18 year old Erwan Le Bras
It’s a nice problem to have. I’m not complaining. But young players aren’t as consistent so I need Ayari to find his scoring boots soon, otherwise I might have to move him out to the wing.
After this cracking start we are yet again top of the league my the close of the transfer window. I don’t know what the season hold for us or even what my expectations are. With the pressure now off after having won a league title, I think I’m going to enjoy just getting through the season and seeing how we can do!
The Champions League draw was kind to us. Liverpool, FC københaven, and Besiktas are our opponents. If we don’t qualify from the group I won’t be happy. We’ve lost a lot of top players recently and a new rebuild of young players is needed, however, with the interest in me from Barcelona, I might not be much longer myself
As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, via twitter @fmfutbolmanager, or my slack channel #fmFutbolManager — if you’re not a part of the Football Manager Slack community, then you can join here!
Until next time, à tout à l’heure.