Saturday, June 23, 2018

Mandanda expects to stay at Marseille; West Brom confirm mass exodus

Mandanda expects to stay at Marseille

Olympique de Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda expects to stay at the club amid reports linking him with a summer move away from the Stade Vélodrome.

The France international, 29, joined Marseille from Le Havre for an undisclosed fee in 2008 — having since established himself as one of Europe’s top shot-stoppers.

Mandanda has caught the eye of a host of top European clubs, including the likes of AC Milan, Arsenal Manchester City and Manchester United, in recent times, with the Gunners tipped as the favourites to land the highly-rated keeper.

However, the 29-year-old, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2016, has revealed he has not received a concrete offer from any club, while insisting he is committed to L’OM.

“I don’t know what will happen next season, but it is likely that I will stay,” Mandanda said.

“I have not been approached by any club so far.

“When there is a World Cup, transfers are sorted out very late. Also, the goalkeeper market is quite narrow.”

When asked about new boss Marcelo Bielsa, the Zaire native added:  “New coach Marcelo Biesla? He seems competent and ambitious.

“I have to know that he will rely on me. We have to talk. Whatever happens, I am at a great club.”

Mandanda kept eight clean sheets in 37 Ligue 1 appearances for Marseille in 2013/14.

Albion axe five players

West Bromwich Albion F.C. have confirmed the departure of five players — Diego Lugano, Liam Ridgewell, Scott Allan, Steven Reid and Zoltan Gera, according to the club’s official website,

The Baggies stumbled to the finish line this past season, losing their final three English Premier League matches and narrowly (by 3 points) staving off relegation with a 17th-place finish.

The club’s poor run at the end of the campaign led to the ‘mutual consent’ sacking of manager Pepe Mel, who spent just four months at the helm at The Hawthorns.

“Zoltan and Steven have been terrific professionals during their many years with us,” said Director of Football Administration Richard Garlick. “They have been a real credit to the football club, both on and off the field.

“We know that Zoltan is looking to find another club while Steven, who is keen to carry on playing but is also doing his coaching badges, is considering his options.

“Liam has made a key contribution during the past two-and-a-half years, which we thank him for. He has been a popular member of the dressing room and we wish him well as he looks for a new club.

“I would also like to thank Diego and our five loan signings for their efforts over the past 12 months.

“Scott Allan has found it difficult to break into the first team since arriving two-and-a-half years ago and we wish him well in his future career.”

In addition, loan signings Scott Sinclair, Morgan Amalfitano, Matej Vydra, Thievy Bifouma and Goran Popov have all returned to their parent clubs, leaving the Baggies with many shoes to fill ahead of the summer transfer window.

Will West Brom be able to stave off the drop next season?


Shawn Etemadi



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