Midfielder Yohann Hautcoeur has completed his switch from Le Mans to St Etienne.
The 24-year-old Frenchman has been a model of consistency for the French yoyo club, and was a key player in last season's 11th-placed finish in Ligue 1.
But he has been convinced by coach Ivan Hasek to join Les Verts and is looking forward to the fresh challenge.
"For a few weeks, I have really wanted to go to St Etienne, now it is done," Hautcoeur told Ouest-France.
"I am happy and relieved. Friends have told me about the pleasure of playing at the Stade Geoffrey-Guichard."
The Frenchman still had another season left on his contract at the Leon-Bollee, and while the officials at the club did their best to keep him, they have been left lamenting the loss.
"I tried to convince him to stay," Le Mans director Alain Pascalou declared.
"But as a player, he wanted to experience something else. His transfer represents an award for the work of our academy.
"He has the talent to succeed there, and to face that big challenge. Physically, he is unique. He is the only player I have known who can finish the famous Basboong [fitness] test.
"When I told my friends in football, they couldn't believe it even in Italy. He is a real phenomenon."
Hautcoeur's debut for the club could come in the first game of the new Ligue 1 season against Sochaux on Saturday.