• Ligue 1

Newcastle on Gignac alert

ESPN staff
July 22, 2013
Andre-Pierre Gignac could be heading to the Premier League © PA Photos

Marseille are prepared to allow reported Newcastle United target Andre-Pierre Gignac to leave the club to ease their wage bill and have contacted Joey Barton's agent to broker a move, Le Parisien reports.

Since Margarita Louis-Dreyfus took ownership of OM following the death of her husband, Robert, in 2009, she has been keen to rein in the heavy spending that characterised the tenure of her late spouse.

After two difficult top-flight campaigns, Gignac, 27, appeared to have cemented his future at the Stade Velodrome with a return of 18 goals in 39 games in all competitions last season, but his €350,000 monthly salary means club president Vincent Labrune has reportedly taken steps to encourage Premier League clubs to bid for the France international.

"I've spoken about Gignac to numerous English clubs," Willie McKay, Barton's representative, told Le Parisien of the forward who top scored in Ligue 1 while at Toulouse during the 2008-09 season. "They're interested in his profile. With his power, he's made for the Premier League."

Gignac, who is under contract with OM till 2015, has no intention of leaving the club he supported as a boy, as his agent, Jean-Christophe Cano, made clear.

"We've got a lot of time to think together about what comes next," he stated in Le Parisien. "I've not mentioned the slightest offer from abroad for Andre-Pierre, because he simply has not envisaged leaving this summer. Finding a better project that OM's right now is immensely difficult. He's looking forward to enjoying another great season at Marseille."

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