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Ochoa claims Liverpool interest; Russian clubs keen on Max Gradel

AC Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has claimed Liverpool are one of the many clubs interested in him.

AC Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has claimed Liverpool are one of the many clubs — including AC Milan, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Internazionale, Liverpool and Real Madrid — to have shown an interest in acquiring his services, Sky Sports understands.

Ochoa, 27, joined French Ligue 1 side AC Ajaccio on a three-year deal from Liga MX giants Club América in July 2011.

The Mexico international helped keep L’ours in France’s top flight despite conceding 61 goals in 2011-12. Only Dijon FCO — who were relegated after finishing 19th in the table — conceded more, 63.

This season, the Corsica-based club have significantly improved their defence, thanks in large part to the in-form Ochoa.

The 27-year-old Mexico international’s form has not gone unnoticed, with Liverpool having submitted an inquiry as to his potential availability during the winter transfer window.

No concrete offers were submitted or received in January, but a summer move seems increasingly likely for the Mexican goalkeeper.

“There was some communication with Liverpool, but I let everything be handled by my agent and my club’s president. My job is to remain focused and think about my team, Ajaccio,” Ochoa told Orange.

“There is no doubt, though, that this is a dream I have had since I came to Europe, since I started playing football.”

Ochoa has started all 25 league matches for L’ours this season, with nine clean sheets to his name.

“It will be difficult to choose between Liverpool, Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, Bayern, Dortmund. It depends on how everything happens, I’ll then choose the best one regarding all aspects,” added the 27-year-old.

“The idea is to play for one of the best teams. But it is hard to decide as there are five very good leagues: Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.”

Russian clubs keen on Max Gradel

AS Saint-Étienne forward Max Gradel could join an unnamed Russian Premier League club before the transfer window closes on Thursday, according to the player’s agent.

St Etienne have already received one formal bid for Gradel, with more concrete offers reportedly on the way.

Gradel joined St Etienne from Leeds United in August 2011 after scoring 19 goals in 41 league appearances in the English Championship in 2010-11.

Over the past two seasons, the Ivorian — who represented Côte d’Ivoire at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year — has netted nine goals in 50 appearances for St Etienne.

“Several clubs from Russia are really interested in Gradel’s services, but I don’t want to disclose exactly which,” Gradel’s agent Cyrille Timwo Monthe told Izvestia.

“What is more, one Russian club have already made a specific proposal.”

Sat 23 February, 2013
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