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Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Brandao completes Marseille switch

Marseille have completed the signing of striker Brandao from Shakhtar Donetsk for an undisclosed fee.

The Brazilian has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Ligue 1 club and will wear the number nine shirt.

He will take part in his first training session for his new club later on Wednesday afternoon and will be unveiled at a press conference in the evening.

Brandao, who is believed to have cost between six and eight million euros, could make his debut for OM in Saturday's league clash at home to Le Havre.

• Meanwhile, Marseille owner Robert Louis-Dreyfus has piled the pressure on coach Eric Gerets and president Pape Diouf by demanding success this season.

OM have not won a major trophy since 1993, and are easily the country's biggest underachievers of the past two decades.

After starting the season with high hopes of landing their first Ligue 1 title since 1992, they have slipped slightly off the pace owing to a poor run of results in December.

Louis-Dreyfus has hinted that Gerets and Diouf could pay the price if the club's pre-season objectives - a top-two finish in the league and a trophy - are not met.

"They have made their choices of players this summer," he said of the transfer policies of Gerets, Diouf and sporting director Jose Anigo.

"Me, I proposed others. I respect their choices but there has to be results.

"It is a way of reminding them that they have had the means and a free hand, but it isn't Sunday every day. We have to make an assessment one day."

He added: "We will for sure have a conversation if they (the club's objectives) aren't realised."

The likes of forward Bakari Kone, playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa and centre-back Vitorino Hilton arrived this summer but they have only shone in patches.

Louis-Dreyfus is expecting more, especially from Ivory Coast international Kone, who joined from Nice for 10 million euros.

"I am waiting for a lot of terms of performances from Bakari Kone, in whom we invested a lot this summer," he added.

"Let's hope that being elected the Ivorian player of the year is going to galvanise him for the second half of the season."

Louis-Dreyfus has also bemoaned the management of the club's finances.

"We have to take into account the means we have compared to our rivals in the championship," he said in L'Equipe.

"Apart from Lyon, the overall salary and the transfer budget of other clubs is between 30% and 60% less than ours.

"And what I notice is that by the winter break, we are not better than these clubs.

"With this budget that is far superior than others, except Lyon's, we should automatically be first or second."

OM will today complete the signing of Brazilian striker Brandao from Shakhtar Donetsk.

They have also been heavily linked with a move for out-of-favour Rennes forward Sylvain Wiltord.




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