NANTES TIE UP DOUBLE SWOOP

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NANTES have finalised a double South American swoop for Mario Yepes and Mauro Cetto.

Nantes' Nestor Fabbri has returned from Argentina with the two players, after typically lengthy negotiations, and the duo will add a touch of extra quality to Les Canaris' squad.

Colombian international Yepes is a quality defender who has previously attracted attention from Aston Villa and other European clubs.

The 26-year-old signed a four-and-a-half-year contract, after deciding to leave River Plate.

"I chose Nantes because this club has a great reputation," he admitted.

"Their offer seemed very serious and I was interested to come.

"I had several contacts with European clubs, but none of them came up with a proposal so concrete and serious.

"None showed the same desire to sign me.

"I know people are expecting a lot from me, but I come with a great desire to work."

The transfer fee is believed to be around £3.3 million.

Cetto is also a defender and, at 19, has plenty of room for improvement. The former Rosario Central youngster will be made to feel at home in his new environment as the new coach, Angel Marcos, is also an Argentinian.

The deal to bring him to France was actually agreed back in October.

"The coach speaks Spanish, which will ensure good communication," he revealed. "I am lucky to play with great players, whom I will learn a lot from.

"All this will help me adapt to my new surroundings."

Rosario Central receive nearly $2 million for a player who only made 14 league appearances for the first team, but impressed in the World Youth Championships.