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Monaco preparing for the end of an era

French Ligue 1
 By Ian Holyman

Paul-Georges Ntep completes transfer to Wolfsburg from Rennes

Paul-Georges Ntep is looking forward to life in the Bundesliga.

Paul-Georges Ntep is hoping to emulate Bundesliga stars Franck Ribery and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after completing his move from Rennes to Wolfsburg on Monday.

Ntep, 24, signed a contract with the 2009 German champions through to 2021 with the deal finalised for an undisclosed fee.

Aubameyang, Ribery and most recently Ntep's former Rennes teammate Ousmane Dembele have all made successful transitions from Ligue 1 to the Bundesliga, and Ntep hopes to follow in their footsteps. 

"There are good players in Ligue 1," Ntep, who had just six months left on his Rennes deal, told the French club's official website. "Of course they are tempted to move to foreign leagues, because they're attractive, especially Germany for an attacker. The standard is higher. It's a challenge.

"You see the dimension the players who have gone there have taken. I'm thinking of Ousmane Dembele, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kingsley Coman, Franck Ribery -- attacking players like me. It's a great opportunity that has presented itself. Everything is set for me to take a step up."

Though a shin injury cut short his 2015-16 season and incidentally afforded Dembele the chance to shine that earned him a move to Borussia Dortmund last summer, Ntep has been one of Ligue 1's most impressive performers since joining Rennes from Auxerre in January 2014.

Capped twice at senior level by France, the Cameroon-born forward might have left Brittany last summer with only a lack of a suitable offer holding him back.

With Wolfsburg able to spend following the sale of Julian Draxler to Paris Saint-Germain, Ntep has now found the club he had been waiting for.

"This summer, I didn't have any offers that I liked," Ntep, who scored two goals and provided five assists for Rennes in 15 Ligue 1 games this season, said. "After a serious injury, I also wanted to get back into shape in surroundings I knew. It was better to stay here. Something has come up this winter, and I think it's very good for my career.

"The German league, with its big matches, is magical. Wolfsburg has big ambitions, with a quality infrastructure and squad. Even if their situation is a little difficult right now, they hope for better. It's important for them to finish the season well and for me to adapt well."

With Wolfsburg 13th in the Bundesliga, just four points above the automatic relegation places, coach Valerien Ismael will be hoping Ntep can hit the ground running.

"With Paul-Georges, we have significantly raised the quality on our flanks," former Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich defender Ismael told his club's official website. "He's very quick, technically accomplished and in spite of his young age, already has a lot of experience. We're more flexible tactically with him, and our attacking play will be more difficult to counter."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman


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