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12|01 PRÉ-SAISON: Everything Is Running Just a Little Too Smoothly

Welcome to my Football Manager 2020 blog. In this latest instalment of my journey with Stade Rennais I'll be reviewing preseason ahead of the new season.

SeasonTwelve.EpisodeOne | Pré-saison

Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 blog with Stade Rennais. If you missed the previous post, you can catch up with everything that happened, here:

Read more » 11|04 DERNIÈRE LIGNE DROITE: It Goes Down to the Wire With Wolf at Rennes


June 2030 – August 2030

After a fantastic first season in charge of Stade Rennais, there wasn’t really much more I could have asked of Hannes Wolf. I needed to be on top of my game in the market to ensure we keep the same pressure on our rivals as we put on them last season.

This means making good decisions for the team. With players coming and going, they had to be a right fit financially, but also in terms of their ability and the qualities they bring to the squad. We have a lot of players in the reserves and who were out on loan who are ready to stake a claim for a first-team place. This means we already have a lot of players coming into the first team this season so unless there are wholesale changes with the first team, there are unlikely to be many signings made.


The Recruitment Team

It has been a tough and busy few months for the recruitment team. These are always the most busy months as the teams around the globe try to keep hold of their best players and also taking the best players from those clubs lower down the food chain.

We had dropped to the third most reputable club in the world, with Liverpool leapfrogging both us and Real Madrid to first place. Still, we should be able to keep hold of the players we want to keep while also attracting the talent we need. Since Ligue 1 is a lower reputation league, sitting in fifth place, we are susceptible to losing players to clubs in other countries.

We have an excellent youth system. So first and foremost we will be promoting players into the team to cover the backup positions in the squad. Meaning we can let go some of the more expensive backups we have.

Youth player promotions

As alluded to, these are the youth players I have called up to the first team to be available for Wolf.

Célio Juliano | Attacking midfielder

Juliano was with me in my final season playing from the central midfield positions, but he really shines in the number 10 spot. Given that Wolf alternates between a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 system, he’ll likely get more game time for the new manager. His attributes are excellent, so we will give him a season in the first team to see how he performs.

Célio Juliano | Attacking midfielder
Célio Juliano | Attacking midfielder

Pablo Vega | Central defender

Vega signed for us ahead of the 2026/27 season and has spent time on loan at Eibar, Celta and Wolfsburg. He is ready to come into the first team now to challenge for a first team place. He has fantastic attributes and is playing close to his full potential now, thanks to his successful loan spells.

Pablo Vega | Central defender
Pablo Vega | Central defender

Luis Aguayo | Central defender

Another central defender to come into the first team, Aguayo will step up with Vega to challenge Chernyavskiy and Nikolaou. with Onguéné on the transfer list, it will give us four great options at the centre of defence for years to come.

Aguayo is also close to his full potential now and had an excellent season with Spurs.

Luis Aguayo | Central defender
Luis Aguayo | Central defender

Agustin Acosta | Left back

Acosta come back from a loan spell at Porto and will push Nei for a starting place, which will probably mean we let Maxence Baptiste leave as the latter is wanted by Real Madrid, and with a €63m valuation and €100,000 p/w contract, we can afford to let him leave.

Agustin Acosta | Left back
Agustin Acosta | Left back

The Transfer Market

A relatively calm transfer market, despite the contract disputes at the club right now. Hossam handed in a transfer request and Almada asked for £300k p/w with a £60k appearance fee and £60k goal bonus. After I finished laughing and realised he wasn’t joking, he too is free to find a new club if he can find one willing to give him that money.

As it turns out, neither of them had an offer for their services, so they remain with us at least until January.

Stade Rennais Transfers out

I didn’t think any player would want to leave us this window, given that we were Coupe de France and Champions League winners. But I was wrong.

Jérôme Onguéné, Central defender | €20.5m | to Juventus

I was willing to let Onguéné leave last summer, but we didn’t receive any bids for him that were acceptable. With just a year left on his contract, we set about trying to find him a new club. Considering his huge wages I dropped his asking price. Juventus were willing to take him from us. Given the two new defenders coming in from the reserves, this deal makes sense.

Jérôme Onguéné, Central defender | €20.5m | to Juventus
Jérôme Onguéné, Central defender | €20.5m | to Juventus

Maxence Baptiste, Left back | €54m rising to €72m | to Manchester City

Another player leaves for Manchester City. This time it was my doing. He was wanting big money for a new contract and so we decided to let him go, considering Acosta was coming into the team from the youth team.

We got a great fee for him which gives us some financial breathing room.

Maxence Baptiste, Left back | €54m rising to €72m | to Manchester City
Maxence Baptiste, Left back | €54m rising to €72m | to Manchester City

Jean-Haide Suzanne, Central midfielder | €11.5m rising to €17.5m | to Sevilla

Sevilla, who we drew in this years Champions League (narrative), offered some good money for a player who hadn’t made an appearance for us yet. While he had high hopes for him, we are well stocked in midfielders so I was willing to let him go.

We inserted a €30m buy-back clause and a 40% of profit sell on clause. Hopefully, either way, we profit from this deal.

Jean-Haide Suzanne, Central midfielder | €11.5m rising to €17.5m | to Sevilla
Jean-Haide Suzanne, Central midfielder | €11.5m rising to €17.5m | to Sevilla

Stade Rennais Transfers in

No transfers in this window. Another relatively quiet one. Because of the well stocked youth teams there hasn’t been a need to bring in any other players, despite a couple of outgoings.


The Coaching Team

I’m super excited to see where this team ends up this season. We had a fantastic finish last year and have managed to keep hold of all the main players from last season. We have at least two quality players per position. If anything, I think this is the strongest the squad has ever been.

The results certainly back that up. Preseason went smoothly, no worrying injuries and the start of the season has also been good.

August 2030 results
August 2030 results

A great start to the season with plenty of goals being scored. Wolf is still favouring the 4-1-4-1 which suits the players here at the club. The international break gives us some time to plan for January now while the squad is away.

The Champions League draw sees us line up against Sevilla, Rosenborg and Juventus. A group I would expect us to come out of quite easily.

I think that just about wraps up this update.

As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, or via twitter @fmfutbolmanager

Until next time, à tout à l’heure.

Please leave me a comment below.

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