France news

Baup focuses on signing defender

August 28, 2012
By Fabien Perrin, France Correspondent

Marseille coach Elie Baup's main priority is to strengthen his defence before the close of the transfer window.

Elie Baup
PA PhotosElie Baup wants an improvement

• Barton only wants to join OM

"Our focus is on bringing in a defender," he told French radio station RMC. "We're lacking in options as Souleymane Diawara is out until October, Leyti N'Diaye is injured for a fortnight and Stephane M'Bia could leave the club this week [for QPR]. I need an experienced player. Before thinking about any other position, I need a defender."

Forward Florian Raspentino is the only player the current Ligue 1 leaders have signed this summer. It is, however, highly likely that Joey Barton will arrive at the Stade Velodrome this week.

"Joey Barton? We'll see later," Baup said about the "Bulldog", as the Queens Park Rangers midfielder is known in France.

Marseille are interested in bringing Cameroon international Gaetan Bong from Valenciennes to replace right-back Cesar Azpilicueta, who recently left for Chelsea. Baup is also keen to acquire Sochaux winger Ryad Boudebouz, but a deal seems way off at the moment.