FCK sign Norway international Birger Meling
F.C. Copenhagen have signed Norway international Birger Meling from French Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais FC.
Meling, who plays left-back, joins FCK immediately on an agreement until the summer of 2027.
The 28-year-old moved to Rennes in 2021 and helped the club finish fourth in Ligue 1 last season. He also earned the honour in the 2021/22 season of being named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year by newspaper L'Équipe.
In total Meling played 74 matches for the club over the past two seasons, and boasts 37 international caps since his debut in 2017.
PC: Experienced player who has proven himself at a very high level
"We have been looking for a high-quality left-back to further increase competition in that position," says FCK sporting director Peter Christiansen.
"Birger has played many games continuously in Ligue 1 over the past three seasons and he is a regular in the Norwegian national team, so we're getting an experienced player who has proven himself at a very high level."
Would have liked to pick up Meling earlier
Christiansen adds that he would have liked to have signed Meling earlier:
"Stade Rennais have not been willing to sell him until now," he explains.
"The dialogue with my counterparts in Rennes has been going on for a long time now, so is really satisfying for all of us who have been involved that today we were able to land Birger on a four-year agreement."
Meling: It will be great to experience Parken
Meling played for Stade Rennais in their Ligue 1 season opener against Metz on Sunday afternoon, before flying to Denmark and undergoing a medical on Monday morning, after which the deal was signed.
"I am very much looking forward to becoming an FCK player," says Meling.
"They have shown interest in me for a long time, and I can really see myself in the club's ambitions and plans. I have had some good conversations with PC and (Jacob) Neestrup, and of course I have researched the club myself and only received positive feedback.
"It will be great to experience Parken, where the atmosphere looks absolutely fantastic. I am most looking forward to getting started and meeting all my new teammates, the staff and the fans."
Neestrup: A left-back with extensive international experience
FCK head coach Jacob Neestrup sees the arrival of Meling as an important step in strengthening the squad.
"In Birger we get a left-back with extensive international experience from both the French league and the Norwegian national team.
"He is a versatile full-back who is strong defensively. He makes smart decisions, plays with great responsibility and is skilled one-on-one. Offensively, we can use him in different ways, depending on the type of winger he has to play with.
"Regardless, he is a player who has proven at Rosenborg, Nîmes, Stade Rennais and in the Norwegian national team, that he can participate actively in both build-up and counter-attacking play."
Meling is not included in Prague trip
Meling will be given shirt number 24 but is not registered for FCK's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round second leg against Sparta Prague on Tuesday, as he has become an FCK player after the deadline. However, he can appear in the next playoff round whether it be in the Champions League or the Europa League.
Everyone at F.C. Copenhagen would like to welcome Birger to the club and the city.
Name: Birger Solberg Meling
Born: 17 December 1994
Former clubs: Middlesbrough FC (youth), Stabæk Fotball, Rosenborg BK, Nîmes Olympique, Stade Rennais FC
Honours: Two Norwegian championships and one Norwegian Cup
International caps: 37 caps for Norway, 6 U21 caps