Transfer news

Manchester appeals to Valbuena - agent

January 3, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

The agent of Mathieu Valbuena has said only "one of the two Manchester clubs" could tempt the Marseille midfielder to leave the Stade Velodrome.

Matthieu Valbuena
GettyImagesMathieu Valbuena is a creative influence for Marseille

Valbuena, 28, has announced his hope of extending his current deal through to 2017 after emerging from relative obscurity to become a cornerstone of the French national side since joining OM in 2006.

Such loyalty to a single club is rare in Ligue 1 with many players often looking across the Channel to further their careers and increase their pay packets.

However, the player's agent, Christophe Hutteau, told TV channel L'Equipe 21 that Valbuena would only ever dream of switching Ligue 1 for the Premier League if a club of global standing made a bid for him.

"If Mathieu has given a lot to the club, he is also aware the club has given him a lot too," Hutteau said. "For him, you don't leave OM to go to Newcastle. If, one day, it's one of the two Manchester clubs who come in for him, we'll think about it, but so will the OM board."

Valbuena, whose contract is due to expire in 2015, may have been tempted to search for an exit last summer with OM's modest mid-table finish excluding them from the Champions League.

However, with OM having shown faith in him after he had been rejected by Bordeaux as a youngster, Valbuena is keen to continue repaying the debt he has partly covered in contributing two goals and six assists to help Elie Baup's men into third place at the midway point of the season.

"Neither Mathieu nor myself are talking about leaving. He has the club under his skin," Hutteau explained. "The non-qualification [for the Champions League] was merely a workplace accident. He wants to be one of the players who bring the club back into the Champions League."