Monday, 20 June 2011

Rumour Central: Varane, Eto'o, Berbatov, Menez

Much like Pippa Middleton, one suspects PSG will continue to be linked with anyone vaguely eligible this summer, as lazy/overworked journos fill their pages with speculation about who is going to be the recipient of some Qatari cash.

As far as PSGT is concerned, the club's pulling power is, like Middleton's, probably a bit over-rated, but today's batch of stories does include one which may have legs.

Lens have reportedly accepted an offer, believed to be in the region of €10million for defender Raphael Varane. According to RMC Sport, Lens president Gervais Martel says the decision now rests with the player, with Real Madrid also interested along with Manchester United and an un-named French club named Lyon.

Rumour has it that it's a straight fight between Paris and Madrid, and the player himself claims first-team football is a priority, meaning he could favour a move to the capital.

"I can move abroad or I could join a Ligue 1 club," he said. "What interests me is playing regularly so I have to think carefully and go to a club where I can progress."

At the other end of the believability scale, France Football tells us that Leonardo, PSG's "probable future sporting director" (bet that looks great on business cards) is having coffee in Paris today with Inter Milan's Samuel Eto'o in a bid to convince the striker, who he bossed at the Nerazurri last season, to make a move to Ligue 1 in exchange for a €15 million a year salary package.

"I'm thinking about some different proposals," said Eto'o in typically cryptic fashion. "I have a month to decide. I'm 30 and have to think carefully before I make a decision."

While nobody would argue with the Cameroonian's scoring record over the last decade, his best days are probably behind him, and making him the highest paid player in Europe wouldn't seem like a particularly sensible idea. Still, given that the story is lighter on facts than the last Harry Potter book, I won't hold my breath on it coming true.

If you prefer your aging, moody, strikers to be of the Bulgarian variety, Le Parisien reports that Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov could be on his way to the Parc de Princes. Again, doesn't seem to be much to this beyond mere speculation, as the Red Devils have yet to confirm whether they wish to part with their top scorer from last season.

One player definitely up for a move to Paris is Jeremy Menez, who didn't let the fact that there's no suggestion that a) PSG are interested, or b) his current club, Roma, want to sell him, get in the way of a good sales pitch.

"There's no shame in returning from Serie A to Ligue, those days are finished now," said Menez, as he stuffed a copy of his CV into an envelope marked Paris. "PSG could be an option. If the means are there and the club constructs a good team, I could definitely enjoy playing in Paris."


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