Archive for the ‘Olympique Marseille’ Category

Gooch Transfer Rumor Of The Week

January 9, 2009

Well Vagabonds, its Friday and what week would be complete without some new wrinkle in the Onyewu transfer saga? Its either that or gratuitous links to Soundgarden videos.

Since the Soundgarden discography is so finite (given that they broke up in 1997), we need to use them more sparingly. So, I guess Gooch transfer rumors will have to do.

This week Belgium’s ExtraFoot is reporting that Olympique Marseille thinks the price tag on Oguchi Onyewu and his teammate Milan Jovanovich is too high. My spidey sense tells me that we should not take such reports as the final word but rather as part of the transfer dance between two clubs.

Aaah, why not?

Onyewu To PSG In June?

January 4, 2009

As the long-running Oguchi Onyewu transfer saga becomes closer to achieving War and Peace epic status, the strongest links remain with French clubs. We’ve all seen recent statements from Standard Liege that he is not for sale this winter and after the club just pocketed 20 million euros to send Maroune Fellaini to Everton and appears set to make another 10-12 million euros in selling Milan Jovanovich, who can blame them?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, Marseille’s defensive needs are immediate and they are looking for a fix in January to battle for a Champion’s League spot. They’ve got their eyes on Fiorentina’s Da Costa but may not be able to outbid his other suitor, Juventus. So, if Standard is unwilling to sell Onyewu now, L’OM may need to look elsewhere.

But Paris Saint-Germain seems a bit more patient and may be willing to wait until the summer to acquire the American defender. Some observers in Paris seem to think this may be the case but again, its all speculation until a deal is done.

My spidey sense tells me its a June move to either PSG or L’OM unless an English team (Fulham?) swoops in with an offer. Both one English observer and the always reliable Matthias Seidel estimate Onyewu’s transfer value at circa 4 million euros ($5 million).

Marseille Still Eying Onyewu

December 26, 2008

Olympique Marseille coach Eric Gerets is still keen to possibly sign Stantard Liege central defender Oguchi Onyewu. According to France Football, Gerets was at Standard’s recent UEFA Cup match against Sampdoria to observe Onyewu, who scored in his team’s 3-0 win.

Gerets is looking for help to strengthen his team’s central defense which has been a disappointment, despite the club’s current fifth place standing in Ligue 1. Their defensive softness was most vividly displayed last weekend in a 3-0 loss to Nancy. During that dismal performance, the central midfield and defense did not communicate well and L’OM was overall weak in one-on-one challenges. Observers have noted that this year’s edition of L’OM is strong on paper but mentally weak. The addition of Onyewu, a player Gerets referred to as “intense and strong” could be just what the team needs to challenge for one of the league’s top places this season.

Any move for Onyewu would likely be tied to the fate of central defender Ronald Zubar, a player once linked to Arsenal and Olympique Lyon but who has had a disappointing season. The trick for Gerets is whether he decides he can bring the once-promising French U-21 player back into form or sell him off and go after Onyewu.

But L’OM is also interested in Onyewu’s teammate Milan Jovanovich to strenghen their attack. So, talks between the two teams won’t necessarily mean that Gooch is in play although a package deal is remotely possible. With a price tage estimated at 12 million euros, Jovanovich may be too pricey for Marseille so they may settle for bringing in veteran striker Henrik Larsson from Helsingborg (for an estimated 5 million euros).

Marseille: Renewed Interest in Onyewu?

November 14, 2008

Back in January 2007, Olympique Marseille offered Standard Liege’s Oguchi Onyewu a three-year deal which he spurned in favor of a six-month loan to Newcastle United. Gooch’s roll of the dice did not work out as the Tyneside club decided not to acquire him so he ended back at Standard where he has helped the club win a championship and make some noise in European competition. This past summer, Paris Saint-Germain had taken an interest in Onyewu after the premature retirement of Lillian Thuram but no deal was made.

Now Ouest-France is reporting that Marseille is once again interested in acquiring Onyewu during the January transfer window. They are also looking at Glasgow Rangers’ Madjid Bougherra Lille’s Adil Rami, and Anderlecht’s Roland Juhasz. They may also be looking at Marcos Angeleri of Argentine side Estudiantes. While Onyewu is reportedly still primarily interested in a transfer to England, there seems to be continued interest in him in France.

Others, like longtime expat soccer observer Keith Richardson (who is also the English translator for Borussia Dortmund’s web site) would like to see Gooch playing in Dortmund alongside Neven Subotic in central defense. In this scenario, if Subotic decides to play for the USA, the USA’s twin tower central defense would be playing together every week in the Bundesliga – not a bad thing for USA fans.

The question for many of these clubs is whether to acquire Gooch in January or to wait until next summer and get him on a free transfer.