FIVE Ligue 1 players that should have Premier League clubs’ sniffing

Mamadou Sakho:

The 21 year-old defender actually started his career as a striker before moving further back the pitch simply due to a lack of defensive options in the Paris Saint Germain youth team. Sakho is still at the club after four years of service and has broken in to Laurent Blanc’s French senior side over the past year. Arsene Wenger has been a long-time admirer of the Paris-born player and Liverpool are also said to be interested in signing Sakho, with a fee of around £12-18 million likely to tempt his hometown club to sell this summer.

Kevin Gameiro:

Gameiro scored 22 Ligue 1 goals last season, just under half of all Lorient’s goals in the League. He is 24 years-old and regularly competes with Karim Benzema for the striker’s role in the French national team. He has already made himself available to potential suitors, stating: “I want to go to a bigger club than Lorient in France or abroad. If I go abroad it is to play in the Champions League. If I stay in France, this would be for the Champions League and maybe also the Europa League.” Newcastle were the first Premiership team to declare and interest but are likely to be disappointed by Gameiro’s ambition to play in Europe next year. Valencia are rumoured to be exploiting the striker’s affinity to Spain and a bid of around £12million should prise him away from Ligue 1.


The Brazilian-born winger scored 18 times in his first season at Paris Saint Germain having played for eight clubs in Spain, France and Brazil over the last ten years. He is 29 now so represents a player at his peak with immediate quality and was one of the major contributors to his club’s successful season, finishing 4th in Ligue 1. It is not known whether Nene is looking to move on this summer, nor the transfer fee his sale would command, but he would undoubtedly provide a top-8 Premiership club the required attributes for a wide-man.

Rio Mavuba:

The defensive midfielder originally joined Lille on loan for six months between January and June 2008 after his move to Villarreal from Bordeaux wasn’t working out. The club signed him on permanent terms that summer, securing his return to Ligue 1, and made him captain. He has now completed three full seasons with the recently crowned champions of France, and although not a goal-scorer, possess frightening power for a player of his size (roughly 5ft 7inches).

Marvin Martin:

The creative midfielder has been at Sochaux for his entire three-year professional career and was instrumental in propelling the club that has trained him for the past nine years to a fifth placed finish in Ligue 1 last term. He was called up by Laurent Blanc for last Monday’s friendly fixture with Ukraine and was introduced as a substitute. Martin scored twice and set up a third to complete a dream debut for his country, becoming just the fourth player to score twice on his first French senior appearance. He scored just three goals last season but assisted an impressive nineteen, and is likely to require a bid of around £13million to lure him away from France in what would be his first ever transfer.