Hamari Traore: Mali defender joins French club Rennes

Mali international Hamari Traore (left) and his agent Bakary Sanogo
Hamari Traore with his agent Bakary Sanogo as the Mali international signed for French club Rennes

Mali international Hamari Traore has completed a move from second tier Stade Reims to French Ligue 1 side Rennes on a four-year deal.

The 25-year-old defender was part of the Mali squad at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and played 32 times for Reims last season.

"This is a big step up for my career and I thank God for the opportunity," Traore told BBC Sport.

He joins several Africans at Rennes including compatriot Yacouba Sylla.

Also currently on the books at the club are Algerian trio Rais Mbolhi, Ramy Bensebaini and Mehdi Zeffane, Mozambique's Edson Mexer, South Africa's Kermit Erasmus, Firmin Mbule of DR Congo and Ivorian Giovanni Sio.

Traore has made 120 appearances and scored five goals in European football since moving from JMG Bamako to Belgian club Lierse in July 2013.

He joined Reims from Lierse in 2015 but suffered relegation in his first season in French football despite emerging as the 'discovery of the season'.