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Rene Girard, who steered Montpellier to the French Ligue 1 title in 2011/12, has been appointed coach at Lille, AFP learned on Friday.
Talks about his appointment finished late on Thursday, a source with knowledge of the discussions indicated, confirming news first reported in Le Parisien daily.
The 59-year-old Girard, who was in line for the post with Borussia Moenchengladbach's Swiss coach Lucien Favre, takes over at Lille from Rudi Garcia, who has left for AS Roma.
The appointment was due to be made official later Friday or Saturday and he will be formally unveiled next week.
Girard, a midfielder for Nimes and Bordeaux in his playing days, will be the third coach under the presidency of Michel Seydoux, who has run the club since 2002.
Claude Puel, manager between 2002 and 2008, and Garcia both secured qualification for the Champions League in 2005/6 and 2006/7.
Garcia also steered Lille to the league and cup double in 2010/11.
Lille finished sixth in Ligue 1 last season and will not compete in European competition for the first time since 2008.