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Saturday, Nov 27th

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Forward Valere Germain became the first recruit of his hometown team Marseille after he left Monaco, the club announced.

"Monaco and Marseille have reached an agreement for the transfer of striker Valere Germain, who will sign on Monday a four-year contract after passing the medical examinations," Marseille said in a statement on their official website on Saturday.

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Liverpool are preparing themselves to compete with their Premier League title rivals Arsenal in the race for Marseille whizkid Maxime Lopez, reports The Daily Mail.

The 16 year old has caught the eye of a number of talent spotters from around Europe following his performances for the French side’s junior wing in the UEFA Youth League recently. He has already proved his mettle at the Under-19 level, and football pundits have high hopes from him in the future.

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has spoken about the prospect of facing up against the monster that he created in Didier Drogba in the Champions League this week. Speaking ahead of his team’s Round of 16 tie against Turkish champions Galatasaray, Mourinho commented that he would not deal with the threat of the Ivory Coast hitman in any special way.

Mourinho said, "I've played against (Drogba) already. It's a strange feeling, but we know him well and that means there will be no friends during the game. We have respect for a real legend of this club before the game and after the game, but we have a job to do. It's in his nature to win and to score, but we have to stop him. They are a very experienced team who has Champions League winners. The crowd is very difficult -- there will be 60,000 fans and the atmosphere is really strong, so we have a big test. I think this is a tie that will go to the end."

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Jose Mourinho is weighing up a move for Marseille midfielder Gianelli Imbula as a replacement for John Obi Mikel. The 21 year old has shown good form in just his first season with Marseille after transferring from second division side Guingamp.

Chelsea were initially credited with an interest in the player last summer but the move broke down after a fee was failed to be agreed upon between the Blues and Ligue 2 side Guingamp. Eventually, Ligue 1 giants Marseille came along and snapped up the promising young midfielder for around 6 million pounds. Imbula first caught the eye in his last season with Guingamp in the 2013 where he was voted as the best player in Ligue 2.

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Reports coming from Spain suggest that Arsenal are on the lookout for a midfielder in the January transfer window, and Mathieu Valbuena of Marseille is high on their list of priorities. Valbuena, who has been at Marseille since 2006, is a fan favorite at the Stade Velodrome, and also one of the highest rated attacking midfielders in Ligue 1. Marseille are currently having a poor season overall, by the standards they have set for themselves, having been knocked out of the Champions League in the first round and languishing in 6th place in the league table, 15 points behind the table toppers, Paris Saint Germain.

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The injury to Laurent Koscielny last weekend was a sound warning to Arsenal about the lack of depth in their squad, and with just 3 genuine center backs in the first team, there is clear evidence of the Gunners’ need to supplement their squad in January. Media reports suggested that Arsenal have been tracking Marseille defender Nicolas N’Koulou for this very reason, but it appears that the Gunners seem to have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of the 23 year old Cameroonian as he has ruled out a transfer from the struggling French club. Arsenal were not the only club after him, with Bayern Munich also reported to have been interested in his services.

Speaking to a French magazine, the defender said that he wants to stay at Marseille and aid in the turnaround of the wretched form that they are experiencing. The young defender also added that he will not move from Marseille until he reaches a higher level in his personal performances.

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Arsenal picked up a comfortable 2-0 win against Marseille in the UEFA Champions League at the Emirates last night thanks to a brace from young Jack Wilshere, who also seems to have found his scoring touch this season, especially when played in an advanced midfield role. Starting on the right wing, Wilshere got Arsenal firing with a beautifully curled left foot shot inside the first minute before scoring his and Arsenal’s second in the second half, smashing home from 10 yards out after Mesut Ozil had squared the ball to him inside the Marseille box.

Arsenal will be disappointed though at not having made more of their possession and should really have won this game by a bigger margin, with Mesut Ozil missing a penalty.

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