Like a broken record, Marseille continue to find themselves linked with a summer swoop for either Mario Balotelli or Olivier Giroud. However, according to various sources in France, the chances of pulling off a deal for the former Manchester City and AC Milan striker have significantly reduced in recent weeks, with agent Mino Raiola said to be demanding excessive commission fees. As for the newly-crowned FIFA World Cup winner, Les Olympiens face tough competition from Atlético Madrid to secure his signature before the transfer window closes.
Irrespective of whether they do eventually manage to strengthen their frontline with a marquee name, it seems that OM sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and coach Rudi Garcia have identified the need to bring in another defender. Indeed, reports suggest they will compete with Paris Saint-Germain and Everton to clinch a deal for Manchester United stopper Marcos Rojo. Despite being somewhat out of favour under Red Devils boss José Mourinho, there is no doubt that the ex-Sporting CP central defender still has a lot to offer a major European club.
Presumably, the arrival of the aforementioned Argentine international indicates a potential departure for one of Aymen Abdennour, Adil Rami or Rolando. Even with the challenge of UEFA Europa League group stage football to contend with, it is unlikely that Garcia will be able to satisfy five players all competing for two spots in his starting line-up. Considering the fact they must also ensure that they comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, there is a good chance that Zubizarreta will look to offload two or three fringe players in the coming weeks.
Having already secured the signature of Duje Ćaleta-Car from Red Bull Salzburg in a deal worth just under €20 million, it is clear that Zubizarreta and Garcia are determined to remedy the fact that their side conceded a few too many goals last season in order to achieve their ultimate target: a long-awaited return to the UEFA Champions League. On paper at least, a partnership between Rojo and Ćaleta-Car is a sizeable upgrade on any combination of Abdennour, Rami and Rolando. That said, only time will tell whether that form can translate itself on to the pitch.
Theoretically, a pairing of Ćaleta-Car and Rojo would be very well-suited to Garcia’s preferred style of play, which does require defenders to be capable in possession and comfortable bringing the ball out from the backline into the midfield area. Ćaleta-Car will have no problem adapting to Ligue 1, having thrived within a similar set-up in Austria under the tutelage of Marco Rose and René Marić.
If and when Rojo does arrive in the south of France, OM will have done excellent work upgrading in an area of the pitch which proved troublesome last season. After all, long-term success must always be built upon the solid foundations of a good defence.
Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Fantasy Football Managers? If you’re up to challenging the best then play www.fantasy-worldcup.com now!