Writer: Jimmy Coverdale
Date:Wednesday July 29 2009
He may have well just taken over as manager of Newcastle, that`s how popular Laurent Blanc will be on Wearside today.
Blanc, manager of a club from a place that is more famous for its wine in a league that allowed Tyrone Mears look good, has today said that he would attempt to stop Marouane Chamakh from joining Sunderland.
Chamakh meanwhile has been very clear of his intentions all summer: he wants to play in the superior league. He, like all of the world, sees the Premiership as a step up in quality, and therefore does not really mind who he plays for.
His main choice would be to join Arsenal, who were rumoured to be interested earlier this summer. He also probably views Sunderland as a stepping stone to one of the big four (or five now with Manchester City) and realises that it takes time to adjust to English football. The same would be said about other would be suitors Blackburn and Fulham.
Speaking to L'Equipe, Blanc said: 'I am going to do everything to make sure he does not go to just any club,'
'With him, things are clear. After the season he's had, if he has to go, it will be to a big club. That's why I am standing in the way of a departure to Sunderland.
'I am not going to change what I said to him at the start of the year. If an offer comes from a big club, I will not stand in the way. The door is half-open.
'Players with Marouane's profile are difficult to find. He is someone who has showed enormous progress in his efficiency.
'Abroad, he has an image of a good striker who scores little. It is why I would like him to stay, to score between 15 and 20 goals with us and that people can realise he is a goalscorer.'
Whether Blanc likes it or not, the 25-year-old Chamakh would be raise his profile a lot more if he was to score 15 to 20 goals in England, rather than France. His comments are unlikely to change the situation, as Chamakh is still more likely to be a back up if Steve Bruce fails to capture his primary targets. Peter Crouch has moved to Spurs, while competition from Aston Villa and Hull could see the Black Cats miss out on Darren Bent. Thus, much to his dismay, Laurent Blanc could very well see his prized asset make the move to the North East of England.
Date:Wednesday July 29 2009
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