Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Saturday May 26 2007
It's the last weekend of the Championnat in France and already clubs are beginning to prepare their manoeuvres in the transfer market. It's a similar case in England where some of our rivals are already strengthening their squads.
We of course remain in a takeover trance limbo. A takeover may or may not take place and nobody can say right now what funds will be available for the management team that MCFC can afford to bring in. However, ignoring the fact that our scouting 'system' is nothing short of non existant save for the alledged agents software that brought us Djamel Abdoun it's worth taking a look at the talent coming through in France from a league that has fed the Premiership so very well in recent years.
High profile Ligue 1 departures this summer could well be led by the tenacious Franck Ribery of Champions League qualifiers Marseille. A dead cert target for Europe's big guns. Meanwhile the increasingly well regarded Samir Nasri, once linked with City is likely to stay on at l'OM for the time being while the expensive Djibril Cisse's injury record will again come in for scrutiny should Marseille fail to keep him and Liverpool decide to offload.
Gerard Houllier's decision to step down for a break from six times consecutive Champions Lyon could signal a clear out of sorts as l'OL prepares for a new future and a new stadium. Certain key players could be unsettled and looking for new challenges. Malouda, Abidal, Juninho and Coupet are all class acts and would grace any Premiership side.
One lad who has certainly caught the eye this season is Saint Etienne's playmaker Pascal Feindouno regarded as 'l'artiste' of Les Verts. The Guinee born international is already being courted by numerous clubs across Europe and we could well expect to see him appearing at Eastlands next season. Resplendant in a dazzling new Le Coq Sportif shirt would be handy.
Another noteable if slightly lower profile opportunity worth considering is Karim Ziani, cup winners Sochaux's Algerian international midfielder.
A potential replacement for the Champions League bound Sylvain Distin could be Nancy's Senegalese central defender Pape Diakhate. A rock in Nancy's defence this season.
Each and everyone of these players and others throughout Europe would of course strengthen our Manchester City squad. It is now a question of us keeping an eye on the clock because we need to be making some moves sooner rather than later. A new manager requires time to get his feet under the table, assemble his backroom team, familiarise himself with the squad and then begin to rebuild. How quickly this can be done remains to be seen. Anything can happen in the next week or so and probably will!
Date:Saturday May 26 2007
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