NANTES: French Ligue 1 side Nantes on Wednesday named Rene Girard as their new coach on a two season deal. Girard, who guided Montpellier to a shock French title triumph four years ago, will replace Michel Der Zakarian, whose contract runs out at the end of the season. After leaving Montpellier in 2013, Girard coached Lille for two years. He is being tasked with pushing Nantes into the top half of the table, something they have not achieved since climbing back up to the top division three years ago. The Bretons are 12th in Ligue 1 with one match to play at runaway champions PSG, leaving them scant hopes of improving their final position.