Habibou out to seize France chance

Habib Habibou is excited about the challenge of proving himself in Ligue 1 with new club Rennes.

The Central African Republic forward became Rennes' 11th signing of the transfer window when he joined from Gent on last week's deadline day.

The former Zulte-Waregem and Leeds United targetman came through the youth ranks at Paris Saint-Germain but had to leave France in a bid for first-team football.

That came in Belgium and now 27, Habibou - who could make his Rennes debut against PSG on Saturday - is keen to take his French chance on this occasion.

"It is a pleasure to be back in France," Habibou told Ligue 1's official website.

"I spoke a lot with the coach [Philippe Montanier] and he convinced me. We are on the same wavelength.

"I had other offers but I was pleased with the approach from Stade Rennais. It is a good challenge.

"At Paris, with the youths, things were going well and I absolutely wanted to sign professional terms but it didn't happen.

"I preferred then to go to Belgium. I don't regret my choice because that is where I became a professional."

Habibou enjoyed an outstanding campaign in Belgium last term, netting nine in 17 league games with Zulte-Waregem before moving to Gent in January.

The striker then bagged 11 in 15 top-flight matches for Gent in the second half of the season.